So what’s the deal?
With red fruit flavors and white wine body, rosé competes only with sparkling wine for the title of Most Versatile Pour. But when it comes to cheese, it might eke out a win: Rosé is free of the tannins that make pairing red wine with cheese tricky, and also of the steely acidity that can cause a sparkling wine to taste metallic when it encounters a rind.
Rosé comes in a spectrum of colors and forms, from petal-pink featherweights to fuchsia-hued bombshells. Nearly every winemaking region in the world has a rosé or two to call its own, made from numerous grape varieties. This all means generalizations are hard to make when it comes to flavor, but here’s the good news: Hue offers a good clue as to what’s inside the bottle. The most delicate rosés tend to be the palest; the most fruit-forward usually show it in their garnet glow.
And skeptics should rest assured that “light” does not mean “wimpy.” Just as a fresh cheese can impress with the detail and balance of its flavors, a great rosé, no matter the shade, holds its own among the great wines of the world with its unique flavors and structure.
Cheeses to Pair
The palest shades of rosé match well with young, milky cheeses like fresh mozzarella. Medium-pink quaffs, created by darker grapes and longer contact with skins, can still treat a soft goat cheese with respect, but their hints of juicy red fruit can handle salty, harder cheeses too (try any Alpine style). The most deeply colored sippers call into question where rosé stops and where red begins—but few reds can claim rosé’s buyout notes of fresh-pressed cherry juice and cold watermelon. Serve these wines alongside strident cheeses: salty feta, dense sheep’s milk cheeses, and even mild blues.
- Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
- Domaine Saint Roch Touraine
- Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
- Château d’Aquéria Tavel
- Domaine de la Patience Costières de Nîmes Nemausa Rosé
- Domaine du Gros Noré Bandol Rosé
- Cepa 21 Ribera del Duero Hito Rosado Tempranillo
- Gaia Peloponnese 14-18h Agiorgitiko
- Sauska Villàny Rosé