As soon as the calendar ticks over to September and Labor Day weekend winds to a close, rosé wines are forgotten in favor of robust reds or hearty whites. Even deep discounts won’t stop rosé wines from languishing on shelves once winter hits. But with temperatures hitting solidly below freezing, wouldn’t it be nice to brighten things up with a glass of rosé instead? Yes, rosé is fit for winter, too, and there are plenty of options out there that will happily warm things up as the cold weather drags on.
Drinking rosé in the wintertime offers a great opportunity to branch out beyond the light and bright bottles that dominate the summer season. Try a richer, more structured rosé, which can be the perfect complement to the hearty, heavy dishes that we tend to gravitate towards in richer months. Even if your preferences tends towards the lighter side of rosé wines, you’ll still experience them in a new way. Since it’s been a bit longer since these rosés were released, the flavors may have softened or gained complexity over time. Consumers often snap up rosé wines so quickly after release that they haven’t had a chance to settle after bottling. Also, because most other wine lovers are gravitating towards rich reds in the wintertime, those rosés may be cheaper than they would be at the height of summer.
As winter overstays its welcome, give the season a new spin by turning to rosé wines. These eight sparkling, still, and sweet rosés prove that pink wine isn’t just for summertime anymore.
Jansz Premium Sparkling Rosé NV, Tasmania, Australia ($30)
Tasmania’s cool climate creates this pale, onion skin-hued rosé sparkler, which is based on Pinot Noir and blended with a bit of Chardonnay. The flavors are soft and fresh, tasting of white cherries and subtle lemon, with a creamy, almond-like finish that balances out bright acidity.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Rosé NV, Champagne, France ($65)
Though this Champagne looks pale in the glass, it is decidedly full-bodied, like Charles Heidsieck’s other robust wines. Comprised of all three key Champagne varieties – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier – the Brut Rosé rounds out ripe cherry tones with toasty, vanilla bean flavors and creamy, rich brioche notes. Happily, the long finish lingers, though the bottle will be gone before you know it.
Loimer Brut Rosé NV, Niederösterreich, Austria ($32)
Blended from the Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay grapes across sites in Austria’s Niederösterreich region, the Loimer Brut Rosé is a focused sparkler. High-toned citrus flavors and bright acidity define this refreshing wine, which will certainly liven up rich winter dishes.
Champagne Delamotte Brut Rosé NV, Champagne, France ($80)
Unlike its sister house Salon, Delamotte uses both red and white grapes in its range of Champagnes. This one is a blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, creating an elegant blend that is well-balanced between juicy red fruit and fine, chalky minerality.
Azur Rosé 2017, California ($32)
Aiming to be a Provençal-style rosé made in California, this blend of Grenache and Syrah is super clean, with fresh tones of grapefruit and lemon. Pair it with hearty, savory winter stews or roasts.
Annona Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Rosato 2016, Abruzzo, Italy ($25)
Pale, light, easy-drinking rosés are all the rage these days, but dare to dip a toe into the darker side of rosé and you’ll discover a new world of structured, complex, serious wines. This Montepulciano rosé, created by New York sommelier and restaurant owner Joe Campanale, stems from a tradition of lighter, cherry-colored wines within Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Alongside a core of tart, juicy red fruit, this full-bodied rosé has layers of salty earth and slight funk.
Dominio del Plata ‘Crios’ Rosé of Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina ($12)
Though this Malbec rosé is deeply colored, it remains dry and easy-drinking. This wine leans heavy on juicy red fruit, like red cherries and strawberries, but it is quite refreshing on the finish.
Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine 2015, Niagara Peninsula, Canada ($90/375mL)
Rarely is ice wine – a type of sweet wine made from grapes that have frozen on the vine – made from a red grape, but this one is the famous exception. Produced by one of Canada’s leaders in wine, it is lusciously sweet but balanced by bright acidity, tasting of sweet raspberry and strawberry fruit with a touch of brown sugar. Pair it with fruit or chocolate desserts and see how it shines.