Your Summer Rosé Wine Guide: How & When to Enjoy It

by JJ Buckley Fine Wines

Close-up of rose wine being poured into a glassSummer is approaching and that means it's time to break out the bottles of rosé!

Rosé is often thought of as an "in-between" wine due to its pink color. That assessment is not entirely wrong, as it's typically a blend of red wine grapes. The significant difference between most reds and rosé is its reduced fermentation time. This shortens the time the dark, red-skinned grapes remain soaking in the juice. Less time means less skin tannins and red pigments from the skin are absorbed into the finished wine. This is why the wine is a shade of pink rather than the deep color of a red wine.

But what is it about rosé that is so popular among wine enthusiasts? Is there a right or wrong way to drink it? Is there a specific season that rosé is meant to be enjoyed? Together we’ll explore all the intricacies associated with rosé wine in this complete rosé wine guide.

Is Rosé a Summer Wine?

Yes and no. While rosé wine can be enjoyed all year (and we encourage it!) summer has become the official season of rosé. Because rosé is generally a blend of fruity, sweet, and floral, it’s regarded as the perfect summer refresher. Red wines in particular tend to have bolder flavors and a richer palate that might feel a bit too heavy in warmer months. But this isn't a hard rule - the popularity of rosé doesn’t mean you can't also enjoy reds and whites in the summer, too. 

Since so many love rosé as a summer wine, the second Saturday of June has been declared National Rosé Day, and the fourth Friday of June is International Rosé Day. Now you have two great excuses to enjoy rosé in June!

Where and When to Drink Rosé

Now that you know summer is often seen as peak rosé wine drinking time, what are other good times to enjoy rosé? First, you’ll need to understand why rosé is so popular. Rosé has its own complexities, but much less so than a standard red or white wine. Because of its blended nature and overall simplicity, rosé offers a happy medium for both red wine and white wine lovers.

That makes a rosé a great addition to almost any celebration at any time of year. Its moderate attributes make it the perfect wine to serve at any wedding or party. Because rosé wine is so simple yet elegant, guests won’t feel overwhelmed by flavor as they might when presented with a pinot noir, merlot, or pinot grigio. Guests will be intrigued by its natural color and rich flavor, which is also why it is also a popular wine to have for Valentine’s Day.

How to Drink Rosé Wine

Rosé is best enjoyed chilled and served in a wine glass. You can have it on its own, or enjoy it in a cocktail (more on that later). As for a rosé wine-food pairing, here are some foods to include next time you have a glass of rosé with your meal:

  • Barbecue meats. 
  • Roasts.
  • Grilled chicken or fish.
  • Vegetables.
  • Salads.

Rosé Your Way

Wine is often thought of as a drink to enjoy strictly as-is with no mix-ins, but why limit yourself? You can combine the complexities of flavors in wine with other ingredients to make all sorts of cocktails — even with a wine like a rosé. Here are a few ideas that will transform the way you enjoy rosé wine this summer:

Rosé Wine Spritzer

What makes a rosé spritzer so popular is how easy it is to make. It doesn’t require you to commit to a bottle of Champagne, like other spritz drinks, and it lets you enjoy the perfect summer wine with a twist. To enjoy this cocktail, all you need is:

  • 3 ounces of chilled rosé wine
  • 1 ounce of soda water
  • Thyme sprig as a garnish (optional)

Rosé Sangria

Sangria has a vibrant history and has appeared in many different variations from its original form. Another delicious take on the popular Spanish wine punch is rosé sangria. If you hope to mix things up this summer, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ½ cups mixed fruit of your choice (raspberries, cut-up strawberries and grapes, grapefruit and pomegranate seeds, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup triple sec
  • 2 (750ml) bottles of chilled rosé wine
  • 1 cup of chilled pomegranate juice

Place the fruit, sugar, and triple sec in a pitcher. This is a drink you need to plan ahead for, so be sure to let it rest in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Once it’s time to enjoy, add the rosé and pomegranate juice and stir it up. Serve over ice.

The Pink French 75

The only difference between a classic French 75 and a pink French 75 is the color. Instead of Champagne, this twist on a classic uses sparkling pink rosé wine. Here’s what you’ll need in total:

  • 2 ounces of gin 
  • 1 ounce of elderflower liqueur
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice
  • 2 ounces of sparkling pink  rosé
  • Lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Combine the gin, elderflower, and lemon juice in a shaker, then shake. Then, pour the contents into cocktail glasses. Top it off with chilled sparkling rosé.

Expand Your Wine Horizons and Discover What Rosé Can Do

Perhaps before, you were skeptical of rosé wine or were looking for more information on this pink drink. Or maybe you were already a fan and this has given you more insight into how, when, and where you can enjoy rosé. No matter where on your rosé journey you are, JJ Buckley Fine Wines has a broad selection of rosé to meet all of your needs. Check out our selection of rosé wines, and can even consult with our wine specialists for some extra help.