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One of the benefits of the growing fashion for rosé in this country is the opportunity to develop an audience for light and refreshing styles of red wine. There is a wealth of grape varieties, such as gamay or barbera, and regional wines from Europe and elsewhere with pleasantly fruity and refreshingly quaffable characters that check a lot of the same boxes as a well-made rosé.
It’s time to embrace the days of patio or porch sitting and al fresco dining. Lighter styles of wine, like the white, red and pink selections recommended this week, fit the easygoing vibe of outdoor entertaining.
The variety of pink wines available at liquor stores continue to sell briskly. If you’ve been enjoying the range of styles available, consider branching out to summery red wines, which might add a touch more colour and flavour to your sipping experience without spoiling the mood.
Bottega Rose Gold Rosé Brut (Italy), $31.99
Bottega produces a range of fruity and floral proseccos from the Veneto region, including its more premium Gold series, that come in distinctive metallic coated bottles. Made with pinot noir, this offers enjoyable red berry and lemon zest notes as part of an elegant and nicely balanced package. Drink now. Available in British Columbia at the above price ($29.99 until June 15).
Bouchard Aine & Fils Beaujolais Superieur 2019 (France), $12.80
The term superieur lets you know the gamay grapes used to make this were harvested slightly riper than the regulations that govern winemaking for the Beaujolais region. There’s good fruit intensity here, with more body than basic Beaujolais. The mix of cranberry, cherry and floral note is easy to appreciate. Serve slightly chilled for best enjoyment. Drink now. Available in Ontario at the above price, $14.99 in Manitoba, $16.97 in Nova Scotia.
Cabriz Colheita Selecionada Tinto 2017 (Portugal), $14.95
This lighter style red wine from the Dao makes the most of its vibrant and fruity character. Made from regional grapes, including tempranillo and touriga nacional, with some aging in oak barrels to add weight and complexity, this is an enjoyable style for picnics or patio season. Drink now to 2023. Available in Ontario at the above price, $15.99 in Manitoba, $13.30 in Quebec.
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2018 (France), $15.95
From one of the Beaujolais’ regions best-known producers, this is an pleasant example of the gamay grape’s savoury and refreshing character. A blend of grapes that could come from any of the 38 wine-making villages in Beaujolais, this is consistently enjoyable and widely available. It’s a simple, lighter style of red wine that’s best served slightly chilled. Drink now. Available in Ontario at the above price, $17.99 in British Columbia, various prices in Alberta, $16.99 in Saskatchewan, $14.99 in Manitoba, $14.95 in Quebec (2019 vintage), $18.99 in New Brunswick, $18.01 in Nova Scotia, $18.99 in Newfoundland.
J. Denuzière Crozes-Hermitage 2018 (France), $29.95
This nicely concentrated syrah from the northern Rhône offers more intense flavours than aroma at this stage of development. Ripe blackberry and plum mix with spice and floral notes that carry through to the lingering finish. Those flavours and the wine’s smooth texture make it easy to appreciate right now, but there’s structure to hold this for the next five to seven years. Drink now to 2028. Available in Ontario.
Malivoire Ladybug Rosé 2020 (Canada), $16.95
A blend of cabernet franc, gamay and pinot noir grapes specifically grown to be made into this rosé, Ladybug continues to deliver an impressive and enjoyable style. The warm vintage in Ontario has resulted in more succulent ripe fruit that’s nicely balanced by a clean sweep of acidity on the finish. Drink now to 2023. Vegan friendly. Available in Ontario at the above price ($14.95 until May 23), various prices in Alberta.
Quails’ Gate Chenin Blanc 2020 (Canada), $24.99
Always made in a crowd-pleasing style, Quails’ Gate’s chenin blanc from the Okanagan shines brightly in the 2020 vintage. Dry and refreshing, this offers a mix of juicy citrus and ripe pear and melon flavours. Drink now to 2023. Available in British Columbia or direct at the above price through quailsgate.com, various prices in Alberta, $21.95 in Quebec (2019 vintage).
Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2018 (South Africa), $18.95
Produced from older bush vines around Stellenbosch, this rich and rewarding dry white shows an attractive honeyed character with ripe peach and pear flavours balanced by refreshing lemony notes. The style makes it a good candidate for the cellar as it will continue to develop richness and weight without losing its mouth-watering acidity. Drink now to 2028. Available in Ontario.
SpearHead Pinot Noir Rosé 2020 (Canada), $23
SpearHead’s latest pink wine is nicely balanced and refreshing. Grown at estate vineyards in Kelowna and Summerland, the pinot noir grapes were hand harvested to produce this fruity and fragrant rosé. The flavourful style is well suited to summer sipping and al fresco dining. Drink now to 2022. Available direct through spearheadwinery.com.
Soho Ziggy Pinot Gris 2020 (New Zealand), $19.95
New Zealand’s embrace of pinot gris offers wine lovers a range of easy to appreciate white wines with terrifically pure ripe fruit flavours. With pear and sweet spice notes, this is flavourful enough to enjoy on its own and offers enough refreshment to enjoy with a meal. Drink now to 2023. Available in Ontario.
Tessellae Rosé 2020 (France), $16.95
This rosé from Domaine Lafage in the south of France blends syrah and grenache for refreshing wine that’s spicy and fruity in turns. Made in a dry style with a fashionable pale pink colour, this is a rosé that’s ready to be savoured. Drink now to 2022. Available in Ontario.
Torres Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Spain), $19.95
This attractive blend of cabernet sauvignon and tempranillo is a staple in many markets across Canada for good reason. It’s made in a dry and concentrated style, with an appealing mix of red fruit, spice and earthy notes. The dusty flavours on the finish suggest this would be best enjoyed with a meal. Drink now to 2024. Available in Ontario and Quebec at the above price, various prices in Alberta, $24.49 in Saskatchewan, $25.98 in New Brunswick.