One of my favorite memories is my father pouring a pink wine from an elegant bottle…
I was about 11 or 12, and I can still remember the fish-like curves of the Provencal rosé wine bottle. He loved his old-fashioned Mateus, which came in a teardrop-shaped, dark glass bottle.
Today, rosés still come in a variety of eye-catching bottles. Long, slender bottles and short, fat ones line local wine store shelves.
Rosé is an essential summer wine. Its light, dry nature makes it a perfect pairing for picnics and cookouts. And after a period of disinterest from wine drinkers, rosés have become more popular in recent years…
According to Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), the professional organization for wine in France’s Provence region (home to many of the leading rosé wineries), imports of rosés to the U.S. grew 58% last year. That’s the biggest bump since 2001.
Longtime readers know I love wine. It lowers blood sugar, decreases risk of dementia, and provides a rich source of antioxidants. Plus, wine also contains caffeic acid, which helps lower your blood pressure and fights inflammation.
Rosés are a great choice to get these health benefits in the heat of midsummer. And the rise in popularity means there are more choices for your summer gathering than ever before.
So, we held another blind taste test in our office using rosé wines that are easy to find across the U.S. We used the same tasting method we employed in our white wine taste test last year.
For our test, we purchased four French wines…
We bought two wines from Provence, the main area famous for rosés: the Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix en Provence and La Vieille Ferme.
Another area of France, the Loire Valley, gave us the Champteloup Rosé d’Anjou. And our fourth wine, Domaine de la Mordorée Tavel, came from the Tavel region.
We included a Spanish wine called Arrumaco, made from Grenache grapes. And we tried an organic Sicilian wine, Gulfi Rosa.
Finally, we added a few American wines you could find almost anywhere… The biggest brands in the U.S. include Barefoot and Franzia, so we tried their pink wines. Australian winemaker Yellow Tail also has a big market share in the U.S., so we included its Pink Moscato.
Ten of us gathered one evening for a blind taste test of these nine different rosé wines.
We listed all the flavors, colors, textures, and aromas. We rated mouthfeel, aftertaste, and overall enjoyment. Then we took a guess at how much each bottle cost, and we ranked all nine in order from our most to least favorite.
Here’s what we liked about our “Best Buy” wine and why we hated one popular style…
Retirement Millionaire Best Buy: La Vieille Ferme
The rosé La Vieille Ferme ranked No. 2 overall on our taste test. Carried in grocery store chains like Publix, the wine is easy to find and easy to drink. It was dry, with a sharpness to it. A few of our tasters smelled sulfur or even a smoky cigar. Flavors included tartness, minerals, and a bit of earthy grass.
Overall, La Vieille Ferme had a pleasant flavor and ranked high, with six testers putting it in their top three. And at $1.80 a glass with wide availability, it’s a Retirement Millionaire Best Buy.
Last Place: Domaine de la Mordorée Tavel
Our most expensive wine, the Tavel rosé, came in last place. We didn’t enjoy the flavors of licorice, dirt, and rust, or the sour notes. It was too acidic and sharp for many of the tasters.
The bottom line is that rosé wines have changed a lot since my dad’s days of Mateus bottles made from clay… The variety is far more impressive now.
Rosés remain my favorite choice for light, dry, enjoyable summer wines. Check out La Vieille Ferme – our Best Buy pick… and let us know what you think.
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