With its booming popularity, versatility at the table, and range of styles in which it’s made, rosé has become a year-round staple of most beverage programs. But consumers’ seasonal drinking preferences also make rosés an essential wine list feature when temperatures warm in the spring and summer.
Though there are a handful of powerhouse players that become familiar—and sometimes a bit repetitive—on wine lists, there are others that sommeliers and beverage directors across the U.S. clamor for.
SevenFifty Daily spoke with 12 restaurant professionals to find out what they’re stocking up on as rosé season kicks off once again. (All wines are listed with price per bottle.)
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1. A Tribute to Grace Grenache Rosé 2020, Santa Barbara, California; $75
Served by Mia Van de Water, MS, head of beverage operations, COTE, New York City and Miami
With a wine list of more than 1,200 selections, Cote offers options that run the gamut of price and style. “A Tribute to Grace is one of our absolute favorite producers,” says Master Sommelier Mia Van de Water. “[It] checks all the boxes for a Cote selection—sustainably farmed, helmed by a badass female winemaker, and most importantly, it’s delicious!” Crafted by Angela Osborne, a New Zealand native, this rosé comes from the Highlands Vineyard, the first vineyard the winemaker worked with when starting A Tribute to Grace. The winery itself is named both for Osborne’s grandmother and for her favorite description of the Grenache grape.
2. Crowley Rosé of Pinot Noir 2020, Dundee Hills, Oregon; $52
Served by Lydia McLuen, bar manager, Takibi, Portland, Oregon
Balance is key for bar manager Lydia McLuen. “Beverage director Jim Meehan and I both love old world wines, but have made a commitment to feature wines from the Pacific Northwest at Takibi,” she notes. As such, Crowley’s Provence-style rosé, made in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley with sustainably farmed Pinot Noir, is perfect. “It’s dry, with lively citrus notes, an underpinning of minerality, and a refreshing finish,” says McLuen. Longtime Oregon winemaker Tyson Crowley vinifies this rosé exclusively from fruit from the La Colina and Tukwila vineyards, which show off the variety’s range as a quaffable aperitif, and perfect pairing alongside chef Cody Auger’s sashimi and fried seafood at Takibi.
3. Cayuse Edith Grenache Rosé 2019, Walla Walla Valley, Washington; $155
Served by Aukai Bell, head sommelier, Gabriel Kreuther, New York City
For the two-Michelin-starred Alsatian destination, sommelier Aukai Bell highlights this tiny-production rosé grown on a seven-acre, biodynamically farmed vineyard near the border of Washington and Oregon. “It’s a very serious and complex wine that tastes not only of bright red berries such as strawberries and raspberries, but [it’s] also herbaceous, peppery, and slightly savory, which is why it goes so well with our menu,” he says.
4. Château Minuty M Rosé 2020, Provence, France; $56
Served by Michael Manjon, beverage manager, Time Out Bar at Time Out Market New York, New York City
With five bars and and even more restaurants, Time Out Market New York has to feature a well-crafted, versatile rosé like the Château Minuty M in order to maximize its utility across lists. “We chose it for its creamy mouthfeel, intense fruits, and just the right amount of acidity, making it an excellent choice to complement the many varied cuisines we feature here,” says beverage manager Michael Manjon. “It doesn’t overpower fish, seafood, or poultry, and it stands up well to heartier meals with steak [and] lamb. With so many restaurants to choose from here, it just makes sense.”
5. Fulldraw Sunshower Rosé 2020, Paso Robles, California; $48
Served by Chris Haisma, owner and sommelier, In Bloom, Paso Robles, California
In Bloom aims to “embrace and support our community and let California’s Central Coast shine in every dish, wine, and cocktail served,” says sommelier Chris Haisma. The menu, by executive chef Kenny Seliger and executive sous chef Ron Frazier, focuses on local, seasonal ingredients prepared in modern, playful ways. With that in mind, Haisma is featuring Fulldraw’s Sunshower Rosé, a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah, because, as he explains, it not only complements so many of the restaurant’s current food menu items, it also allows them to support one of their favorite local wineries.
6. Château Puech-Haut Argali Rosé 2021, Languedoc-Roussillon, France; $55
Served by David Orellana, beverage director, The Parlour Room, New York City
Beverage director David Orellana notes that Château Puech-Haut is one of Languedoc’s most prominent producers. “Cuvée Argali, made from Grenache and Cinsault, is the ideal gastronomic wine, as it offers a great balance of fruit and acidity to pair well with the vibrant flavors of our eclectic dishes,” he says. Though the menu is designed to shine alongside the deep selection of whiskey on offer here—Ora King salmon with celeriac purée, mushroom tart, and more—there is remarkable crossover in pairing options with great rosés like this one. “This wine delivers everything that you want when you think of a premium rosé,” says Orellana. “It has a bold and elegant character with ample layers of fruit, including stone fruits, red berries, and citrus … [and] its acidity is well-rounded, adding tension and a refreshing, long finish.”
7. Walsh Family Wine Rosé 2020, Loudoun, Virginia; $46
Served by Sam Scarlett, general manager, The Wine Kitchen, Leesburg, Virginia
The Wine Kitchen offers local, seasonal dishes and over 30 wines by the flight, glass, or bottle. As such, a versatile rosé is key. And since the wines of Virginia seem to be on a constant upward trajectory these days, general manager Sam Scarlett loves highlighting them. “[The Walsh Family Wine Rosé] is perfect on a sunny July day or a late October night because it is light enough to be enjoyed by itself but has enough body and acidity to be enjoyed with a juicy pork chop on a cold night,” comments Scarlett. He particularly enjoys its strawberry and watermelon notes, as well as its clean finish.
8. Clos Cibonne Cuvée Tradition Rosé 2020, Provence, France; $86
Served by Lauren Hoey, lead sommelier, Hawksmoor NYC, New York City
After Hawksmoor opened its first location in London in 2006—there are now nine—it was only a matter of time before it found its way across the Atlantic, opening its first U.S. location in fall 2021. “[The Clos Cibonne Cuvée Tradition Rosé 2020] is from a unique estate that focuses on the grape Tibouren, an ancient and rare grape variety,” notes sommelier Lauren Hoey. “These wines differ from other rosés typically found in Provence, for they are aged in old oak barrels on the lees, which gives the wine its unique savory, spicy, and herbal aromas.” On top of that, Hoey points out that the wine’s vibrant acidity makes it an excellent food-pairing wine—even for steak. “[It’s] perfect to drink young or cellar for a few years,” she adds.
9. Oda Marani Naked Ojaleshi Rosé 2020, Gurjaani, Georgia; $68
Served by Drew Hairston, beverage director, Maydan, Washington, DC
With a Michelin star and inspiration rooted in Tunisia, Morocco, Georgia, Turkey, and Lebanon, every dish at Maydan is prepared over an open hearth. The depth of flavor this process imparts, as well as the range of culinary inspirations guiding the menu, means that beverage director Drew Hairston can work with a wide range of wines, like this one from Oda Family Marani, crafted from the rarely seen Ojaleshi grape variety. “This rosé is a must for our program that highlights indigenous grapes from the Middle East and Caucasus,” says Hairston. “The Ojaleshi grape is rarely seen outside of Georgia, and the small family making these wines adhere to the ancient and natural way of using the qvevri … The bright red berries, tannic texture from the skins, and crisp acidity on this wine make it a chameleon that can pair with just about everything on our menu.”
10. Colle Florido Vino Rosato LaLena 2020, Abruzzo, Italy; $88
Served by Julia Schwartz, sommelier, Rezdôra, New York City
Because this Italian rosé has a tiny production of just 550 bottles, sommelier Julia Schwartz and assistant general manager and wine director Max Monti snapped this one up. “It is not enough to be pink,” says Schwartz. “Good wine, no matter the color, should always embody a clear sense of place.” Andrea and Daniela Ugolotti, the founders of Colle Florido, focus on respect for the land and biodiversity, allowing for an intimate sense of their home to be reflected in the glass. As for tasting notes, Schwartz describes it as “pop rocks and gravel. Dirty and feminine.”
11. La Distesa Metticio 2020, Marche, Italy; $67
Served by Eric Gallen, sommelier, Bardea, Wilmington, Delaware
The wine program at Bardea focuses on Italian wines and wines with an Italian connection grown elsewhere around the world. La Distesa’s Metticio is a particular favorite of sommelier Eric Gallen’s. “Organically farmed Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano meet Trebbiano and Verdicchio to make up this unfiltered and unfined, crushable, deep rosé wine,” he explains. “A touch of tannin and tart red fruits contrast the bright acidity and stone fruit character of the white grapes. It’s rare to find red and white blends in Italy, and this one is beautifully balanced and approachable, for both enthusiasts and those new to the world of wine.” The layered, umami-rich dishes of James Beard-nominated chef Pino DeMeo tend to work particularly well with vibrant, acid-driven wines like this one.
12. Nicoletta de Fermo Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Le Cince 2020, Abruzzo, Italy; $100
Served by Lorenzo Panella, owner, Antica Pesa, Brooklyn, New York
Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, this Roman-rooted restaurant has made a serious name for itself in Brooklyn, with crave-worthy food and a deep wine program. “This rosé is a must-have at Antica Pesa, as it helps to balance the strong flavors of our traditional Roman food,” explains owner Lorenzo Panella. “A fresh rosé like Le Cince could be well paired with the strong flavor of our cacio e pepe or the guanciale from our amatriciana to keep the palate refreshed after these strong flavors.” In addition to the strong Italian tradition here, Panella is keenly aware of this particular location, where guests tend to focus on wines made with respect for the land. De Fermo practices minimal intervention, organic, and biodynamic farming, and the results are excellent.
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