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5 Affordable Rosé Wines You Really Ought To Drink Before Summer’s End

August 15, 2014

About a month ago, while out to dinner, I was taking a while making my drink selection. After a minute or two, I cocked my head to the side and said to the bartender, “You know what, can I have a glass of the rosé?”

I’d never ordered rosé before, but I felt a sudden urge to try it. And in that moment, without even knowing it, I was participating in a cultural shift that seems to have happened just this summer: magically, rosé is cool again. Not only that, it’s very cool. It’s like, the thing.

This trend was confirmed for me when I saw this article in New York magazine, detailing various rosés that I should drink before summer’s over. I clicked on it excitedly, but was disappointed when I saw that none of the wines were in my price range (that is, $15 or less/bottle). Outraged at NYMag’s lack of respect for my financial situation, I decided to create my own list! So here we are!

When I started this article, I had every intention to get to 13 wines, to match the NYMag.com list exactly, Frisky style. And listen, everyone, I tried. But the problem is, some of the wines I bought were gross and I couldn’t include them, and then I ran out of money and also, time. You see, I’ve been drunk every night this week, and I really can’t do it anymore. I need tonight off from drinking. I can’t possibly drink eight more bottles of wine tonight. You understand, right? I’m only one woman.

So, here are the five wines I picked for you. Before we get into it, you need to know one small thing, which is that I don’t know anything about wine. Like, really nothing. That said, I did invest significant time in asking various friends/liquor store employees for recommendations, and I while I may lack actual knowledge about wine, I do have a huge amount of experience drinking it. So, this list isn’t totally bogus. I promise if you buy any of these wines, you’ll probably like them.

2013 Diamarine Coteaux Varois Cuvee Speciale Rosé

From: Provence, France

Price: $12

I started this with this one, all full of optimism about my article. And it’s good! If you like your rosé dry, this bottle is for you. In my extensive research, I saw it described as “the perfect poolside partner,” and it is that. Dry, but also delicate, this Provence rosé goes down smooth and easy.

Anthony Road 2013 Rose of Cabernet Franc

From: Fingerlakes, NY

Price: $15.99

A domestic wine! This one comes from the Fingerlakes, so it feels neighborly, and it’s sweet and lovely. The Anthony Road website describes it as “lively and crisp,” and I can get on board with that. It was second on my list of wines to try, and it’s gone now.

Sables d’azur Rose 2013

From: Provence, France

Price: $18

Sure, this is a little pricey by our standards (I’m lumping you guys in with me financially, sorry), but there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, it’s very good. Second of all, the bottle is awesome and can definitely be kept, washed out, and made into a beautiful candle holder. So really, for the price of one cheap bottle of wine you get said wine, plus a unique candle holder. Yes please.

2012 Bieler Pere et fils Rose

From: Cotes de Provence, France

Price: $11

Dry but also sweet, this was my favorite bottle. It too comes from Provence (where, incidentally, the best rosés are known to come from) and it tastes like strawberries.

I drank all of this one last night, and unfortunately at one point became so enamored with it that I took this photo of my tiny wine glass, the bottle, and also, for some reason, mustard. Enjoy.

Charles Shaw White Zinfandel

From: California

Price: $2.99 (Trader Joe’s)

I could not, I simply could NOT, leave out two buck chuck. And yes, this is not actually rosé but rather it’s less impressive cousin white zinfandel, but I figured, how different could it be? And who doesn’t want to know whether they should buy the 2.99 wine?

I’ve personally had a lot of Charles Shaw in my day (although mostly the pinot grigio – my early twenties contained a LOT of pinot grigio), and I’ve finally, in the last year or so, found myself sick of it. But I hadn’t tried the white zin, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

The verdict is: it’s ok! I mean, it’s very, very pink and very, very sweet, but if you’re ok with that, you could do worse. I was surprised that after the initial sweetness faded, I was left with a pleasant rosé taste. For 2.99, it’s really not bad.

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