Rosé wine just makes me happy! I love the vibrancy, the freshness, the character and the opportunity to experience the many varietals from which they’re made. This wine showcases food beautifully, drinks lovely solo, and remains approachable cost-wise.
Confirming my love for the Italian style rosé, I saw that Joel Anthony Caruso, formerly of Pizza Ortica and writer for the online Vivino, noted, “Italian rose has the most unique styles and best quality-to-price ratio anywhere in the world, period.” Personally, I can’t believe the growth of the rosé sections of Orange County grocery and wine stores. Best yet, most SoCal restaurants pour a rosé these days, paying further homage to the quality, variety, and popularity available.
As we look toward Mother’s Day, Memorial Weekend, and nice, long evenings on the deck, here are three Italian rosés (“rosatos” in Italian) worth seeking.
Mezzacorona Rosato Vigneti Delle Dolomiti IGT—sold at Gelson’s Markets across Orange County, $10
This estate wine is made with 100 percent lagrein grapes from high in the Aldige Valley, making it a distinct experience from other rosatos. It smells of roses and geraniums and tastes fresh and full, with bright acidity and a round mouthfeel. This is a great bottle for the beach, to enjoy after a hearty hike, to sip while watching the setting sun, and to pair with grilled fish and light pastas. I’ll buy it by the case as a summer staple.
Stemmari Rosato Terre Siciliane—poured at Slice in Laguna Beach; Fatty Tuna in Irvine; and The Pizza Press in Orange
The Stemmari Rosato from Silicy has a deeper color, and that wild strawberry scent that is common with delicious rosé. Made 100 percent from nero d’Avola grapes, it is fresh and delicate, with some minerality. As you can tell by the Orange County restaurants that pour Stemmari, it is a preferred pairing for fresh, natural fare. Aptly, Stemmari is sustainably farmed—and has a super-cool label.
Rotari Trentodoc Brut Rose—poured at Francoli Gourmet in Orange, and La Colombiana in San Clemente
Nothing makes me giddier than great wine enhanced by bubbles! Toast Mom with this delicious sparkling rosato made of 75 percent pinot noir and 25 percent chardonnay grapes. It has an essence of fine spice and lasting bubbles. It is produced solely in the Trentodoc and is perfect with charcuterie, salads, and all celebrations. I guarantee you’ll order more than one bottle.