While White Zinfandel might not be as trendy today as it was during its cultural heyday in the 1980s, its shadow still looms over the world of rosé. Lots of otherwise rational wine drinkers still avoid pink like the plague, seemingly having the same sort of relationship with it as others do with tequila — a few bad experiences were enough to put them off of the stuff entirely. But if you’re one of the poor souls burned by bad blush, I implore you to not give up just yet. You might have bought into some of the many common misconceptions about rosé, but it’s time to man up and drink some pretty wine.
The Myth: Rosé is always sweet.
The Truth: Once you get above the bottom shelf, most of the rosé you’ll find in a decent local wine shop will be dry, as in no residual sugar from the grapes. But you can still expect lots of mouthwatering fruit aromas and flavors. Win!
The Myth: Rosé is simple, uninteresting stuff.
The Truth: While, yes, you’ll come across plenty of simple quaffers, the same could be said for white and red. When you find an excellent example, you’ll realize that rosé can get incredibly complex too.
The Myth: Rosé can’t age.
The Truth: Yes, most should be opened right after release, but dedicated winemaking and amazing vineyards can make for age-worthy rosé. No, it’s not terribly common, but it can wow. Just look at the curious and complex Lopez de Heredia’s Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva. Its current release is from the 2000 vintage. Yes, really. Hunt for the good stuff, and take cues from the winery.
The Myth: Wineries make rosé as an afterthought.
The Truth: Some wineries keep rosé as their focus. Winemakers like Charles Bieler made strides toward popularizing fine rosé in the United States, and many international winemakers specialize in it.
The Myth: Pricier is better.
The Truth: Rosé is still a category where you can find some amazing values — others don’t want to drink pink wine, we benefit. Sometimes it’s absolutely worth splurging on an amazing Tavel bottling, but many other times you’re paying for a rosé’s marketing budget when you play big spender. Ask wine-obsessed friends for great recommendations rather than reaching for the higher price tag.
And finally …
The Myth: All White Zin is bad.
The Truth: Grapes aren’t born bad, they’re just fermented that way. White Zin is generally bottled sickly sweet, but it doesn’t have to be so. There are dry rosés of Zinfandel out there that make pleasant dinner table companions. You just have to be willing to search for them.
The Pour: If you weren’t ready to enjoy a glass of rosé before reading this, you surely are now. Visit our site to see our current rosé offer, the 2010 Curran Grenache Rosé Half Case.