Seeing the World through Rosé Colored Glass

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Spring has officially sprung – hell, here in Southern California it might as well be summer already. So it’s time to admit it: I am totally, shamelessly, obsessed with rosé.

If I were a different kind of man, I might try to get myself off the hook by blaming it on work. After all, the collection of wines that I’ve been working on recently for Le Metro – Wine. Underground. is to be titled Stop and Smell the Rosé. But that would be a lie; it’s the other way around. My addiction was already well past the point of no return when I selected this month’s Le Metro theme.

Some of you may be thinking, “what’s up with this dude and his rosé? Isn’t it all sweet? I thought that was what people drink when they don’t really like wine.” Nope. Not the stuff I’m talking about. There’s rosé and then there’s rosé.

You see, there’s a secret that those of us in the trade have been in on for years, and it’s started to leak out: not all rosé is White Zinfandel. In fact, these days in California, not even all White Zinfandel is “White Zinfandel” anymore, as talented winemakers like those at Broc Cellars and Turley are now making Zinfandel rosé that is deliciously dry. (Clearly, they are not without a sense of irony.)

It’s not that I have a problem with sweetness per se – in fact, I love me some dessert wine when the time is right. The point is that for really good dry rosé, the time is always right. On your back porch or at the dinner table, at a pool party or a cocktail party, you really can’t go wrong.

Here are 10 small-production California rosés to be on the lookout for (in no particular order). Oh, and lest I forget to mention – they’re all pretty easy on the eyes, too.


Matthiason, 2013 Rosé

Arnot Roberts, 2013 Rosé

Donelan Family Wines, 2013 Rosé

Vesper Vineyards, 2012 McCormick Ranch Rosé

Broc Cellars, 2013 White Zinfandel

Turley Wine Cellars, 2013 White Zinfandel

A Tribute to Grace, 2013 Rosé of Grenache

Farmers Jane, 2013 Rosé of Carignan

Ampelos Cellars, 2013 Rosé of Syrah

Tablas Creek, 2013 Dianthus

* Thank you to Jim Prosser from J.K. Carriere Wines in Newberg, Oregon, from whom I stole the title of this post. Jim’s bottling of Pinot Noir rosé, Glass, is tasty beyond words and is also included in this upcoming collection from Le Metro – Wine. Underground.


Stay tuned for a new wine post from Aaron Epstein each month!