Have we reached peak pink? Not even close, if the wave of new rose-tinted wines hitting the shelves is any indication. While France still dominates the rosé trade with its classic pinks from Côtes de Provence, a lot of the new pink wines are coming from other regions—both New and Old World—which means there’s a whole new universe of fresh flavour profiles to sample. Best of all, many of these under-the-radar pinks deliver serious value. Here are five bargains under $15:
Wine experts are generally divided on the topic of Chilean wine, but Cono Sur’s Pinot Noir proved to be a unifying force when it first appeared about 20 years ago, since the cool climate of the Bío Bío Valley region proved ideal for this delicate grape. The winery’s pale Pinot Noir Rosé balances butter, herbs and light floral notes with just the right dose of vinegary acidity.
This wine comes from the Campo de Borja region of Spain, which is a hop, skip and a jump across the border from France, and home to vineyards of Garnacha, a.k.a. Grenache, a spicy-sweet hot-weather red grape used in a lot of French rosé blends. Unlike most pink wines though, bright and zesty Borsao Rosé is not a blend, but, instead 100 percent Garnacha. It’s lightly sweet, tastes like fresh cherries and has a touch of spice to keep things real.
Muga Rosé ($14.95; LCBO 603795 | prices vary in Alberta)
This bone-dry, citrussy and fruit-forward blend of three regional grapes (Garnacha, Viura and Tempranillo) is a steal that will pair nicely with cheese plates and immediately brighten up the pre-dinner snacking hour. It hails from an impressive Rioja winery, Bodegas Muga, that is known for painstaking attention to detail and consistent, high-quality wines. This is no exception.
All the wines at Conde Valdemar are estate-grown, meaning that it owns its own vineyards, and, as such, is always working to make terroir wines that are a true expression of the region. Its pale pink, dry and delicate rosé is light, fresh and bright and tastes a little like a delicious fresh raspberry vinegar with a sprinkling of edible flowers.
Juicy and sweet, this light pink wine smells and tastes distinctly like strawberry compote and thyme. It’s easily the best bang for your pink dollar, perfect for people looking for a little bit of harmless fun. And, if you’re thinking Portugal’s a funny place for a rosé to come from, keep in mind that Mateus Rosé (made popular in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to relentless advertising), arguably the world’s most successful pink wine, hails from the country, too.