By Rick Riozza

Happy St. Valentine’s Day to you all! 

And as you would expect, I write to you bringing some readily available rosés for the romantic quaffs you lovely ladies deserve!  Cheers to you!

Of course, although I couldn’t resist the play in the above title (hey—after writing varied valentines articles with clever titles these past few years, I’m running a bit thin), one may think twice and ask: “Aren’t rosés pink?! Isn’t a “red rosé” simply a red wine?!

Okay—okay, hold on there pardner.  When was the last time you walked through the rosé aisle at your local wine shop.  Sure you saw a slew of pinks, ranging from light bright copper to swishy shining salmon hues. Generally these are the tasty and lovely rosés from Provence in the south of France.  And they are particularly very dry—nothing close to any sweetness here.

But did you not also see some labeled rosés that had a lot more oomph in color? And rather full-on and bordering in the red zone?  Quite often, these higher-end rosés are produced with new and old world, Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo.  Let’s consider them:

Grenache Rosé: This style is fruity; ruby red hues with notes of ripe strawberry, orange, hibiscus and sometimes with a hint of allspice. They have moderately high acidity, but since most have quite a bit of color and body, typically you’ll want to serve them cold to keep them zesty.  The celebrity rosé of Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie, the Miraval Rosé 2015, ($21) is a great example of the Grenache style. (The buzz around town is that it will now be selling the wine in “splits”!—get it?)

Pinot Noir Rosé: This is delicately fruity.  Pinot Noir is always the “diva” about town.  It hates to grow with any type of extreme weather and is considered sensitive and temperamental, but when it’s on and at its best, can make for a very sexy glass of wine. In rosé, Pinot Noir carries bright acidity and soft, subtle aromas of crabapple, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, and wet stone. The grape can produce earthy, but elegant, wines that are cool, crisp, and dry.  The Starmont 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Carneros) is an example right up this alley.

Syrah Rosé: This is savory wine, i.e., aromatic and pungent.  American Syrah rosé is typically made in the “Saignée  Method” —bleeding off the juice after limited contact with the skins, which usually means it will have deeper colors of ruby and notes of white pepper, green olive, strawberry and cherry. Rosé of Syrah tend to be more on the bolder end of the spectrum and are best served slightly warmer than fridge temperatures in a regular red wine glass.

Tempranillo Rosé: This style too is savory. Tempranillo rosé is growing in popularity from the Rioja region and other parts of Spain and Portugal. With this style, you can expect a pale pink hue and herbaceous notes of green peppercorn, watermelon, strawberry and perhaps some meaty notes. Many Tempranillo rosé from Spain also blend a bit of Graciano and Grenache to add floral notes to the flavor.

SEXY ROSÉ from the Sexy Wine Co.($20) is a gourmet rosé that is a fusion of leading Portuguese and French varietals and produces a wine with considerable depth and complexity. The company’s marketing statement claims, “If you enjoy rosés that are fresh, yummy, and full of red fruit then SEXY is for you. 

It has a clear ruby-cherry color. The strawberry fragrance of Tempranillo combines with the floral notes of Touriga Nacional grape while the Syrah gives characteristic delicious juicy red fruit. The creamy texture on the pallet and a sensation of sweetness is perfectly balanced with a refreshing level of acidity.  You can order directly by email to

Finally, no wine columnist in their right mind would leave out recommending a Rosé Champagne.  In time for Valentine’s Day, Moët & Chandon’s new flirtatious Rosé offerings available right now. There is no better way to say I Love You than a beautiful bottle of bubbly.

In time for Valentine’s Day, Moët releases two limited-edition bottlings of the House’s iconic Rosé Imperial, a spontaneous, radiant pink bubbly that will seduce the senses: the Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial Emoji Bottle ($49.99) and the Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial Emoji Gift Box ($49.99). “Rich rose color, fruity scents of orange and pomegranate with lots of lively raspberry flavor, and, lovely texture: elegant, racy, seamless and long.”

The Moët Rosé Imperial Emoji Bottle is dressed in a pink sleeve, while both offerings come with a sheet of V Day-inspired emoji stickers to personalize the bottle of bubbly suited for any sweetheart.

For an even more tempting sip, add a touch of style and sophistication with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 ($69), an exceptional indulgence to mark the special occasion. Powerful, expansive, and gracious, this vintage rosé bubbly delights with a refinement and depth that makes it equally perfect for a romantic toast, a treat for formal dining, or, that romantic dinner for two.

This Rosé delights with its maturity, complexity and charisma, with floral notes of rose and hawthorn and botanical nuances of boxwood and lime zest followed by fruity, fresh notes of raspberry, cherry and blood orange. A vivid, brilliant deep pink in color, its first impression on the palate is succulent and full, subsequently extending itself, with an invigorating finish. Tastes like two hundred bucks!

Here’s to Love!! Cheers!