Fact: Rose wine isn’t expensive. Because it isn’t aged, it’s actually pretty cheap to make. But when you’re faced with a sea of pink bottles, is it OK to buy the cheapest one in sight (as long as it has a gorgeous label)? We break down which ones are OK to buy on the cheap (read: $10) and which ones you really should shell out a little more for.
Save: Rose from Provence, France
This region in Southern France is the birthplace of rosé. It’s known for its dry, pale pink wine with crisp notes of strawberry, raspberry and citrus. And, great news, compared with other wines imported from France, it’s a steal. Exhibit A: Aldi’s $8 Exquisite Collection Cotes de Provence Rosé 2016 was declared one of the world’s best bottles by a panel of wine experts.
Splurge: Rose Champagne
Sweet rosé is a bummer, but sweet and sparkling is basically undrinkable. Many mass-market offerings are made through a process called maceration, where the grapes are pressed and sit in their skins. Look for the word saignee instead, a process where rosé is made as a by-product of red wine fermentation. It’s pricier but makes for a hearty, savory bubbly.
Save: California Pinot Noir Rose
Do you love Pinot? Rosé is a brilliantly affordable expression of this pricy varietal. For a crisp brightness and warm spice in your glass, a bottle from Sonoma Valley is your best bet.
Splurge: Italian Rosato
Bring one of these bottles to your next dinner party for an instant conversation starter. Often made with rare indigenous grapes rarely found outside of Italy (ever heard of Montepulciano or Canaiolo?), this berry- and pomegranate-forward grape juice is the hipster of rosés. You knew it before it was cool.
Save: Spanish Rosado
Because these dark-hued vinos are less hyped than their pale pink cousins, you’ll find great value. They’re known for a big, bold fruit flavor that pairs well with dinner. If you prefer a tangier option, seek out the slightly fizzy rosados from Txakoli, the Atlantic coast of the Basque region.