5 Smart Tips for Anyone Buying Rosé This Summer

updated Jun 8, 2021
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Even if you drink rosé all year long, chances are that your consumption goes up considerably during the summer months. There’s just something about uncorking a bottle of chilled rosé that screams ’tis the season. (The season of pool floats, SPF 50, lounge chairs, and beach towels, that is.)

For those who anticipate shopping for bottles upon bottles of rosé now that summer’s almost here (*raises hands*), we decided to gather all of our wine experts’ best tips for shopping for rosé. Here are five key things to keep in mind before you get your rosé on.

1. Don’t be a price snob.

If the thought of spending next to nothing on a bottle of rosé sends shivers down your wine-loving spine, allow us to change your mind. One of the best bottles around, according to Kitchn’s Lifestyle Director (and recreational wine-lover) Lisa Freedman, is $8 from Aldi. (Seriously.) It’s the discount grocer’s award-winning $7.99 bottle of Côtes de Provence Rosé, a perennial favorite amongst shoppers. So let this be the sign you needed to stop filtering out rosés you don’t think are up to snuff because of arbitrary price prejudice. Did we mention this bottle is award-winning?

Credit: Lisa Freedman

2. Take note of the country of origin.

Speaking of buying cheap rosé … Diane McMartin, Kitchn contributor and resident wine expert, has these words of wisdom for anyone looking to spend less than $20 a bottle on rosé: Avoid domestic rosés (made in the U.S). “Rosé shopping is one time when you don’t want to buy local if you live in the U.S. This is not to say there aren’t good American rosés, it’s just that most of the good ones start at just under $20 and go up from there. Go too cheap with domestic rosé and you risk ending up with something heavy, cloying, and weirdly sweet, or bitter.”

To find a good bottle in the under-$20 range, look for bottles made in European countries such as France, Spain, and Austria. Luckily, McMartin has some specific bottle recs from these countries of origin.

Credit: Diana Liang

3. Check the vintage year.

Unlike your finest reds, rosés aren’t meant to be aged in your cellar for decades on end. According to McMartin, most rosés are actually best at their brightest and freshest. How to find a newer bottle? Look at the back or front label for the “vintage date” and choose the one closest to, well, right now! This summer, keep an eye out for anything made in 2020 or 2021 and start sipping!

Credit: Lisa Freedman

4. Choose a bottle with an alcohol content of 13 percent or less.

After you’ve already analyzed the bottle price, country or origin, and the vintage year, there’s one last thing you should keep your eye out for: alcohol content. According to Jeffrey Schiller, the author of Wine Hack, a rosé that clocks in “at 13 percent or under replicates a Provençal rosé.” Rosés with this alcohol content usually mimic the light-bodied, elegant, and bright rosés made in the cool climate of Provence (in southeastern France).

Credit: Diane McMartin

5. Buy an insulated tumbler to drink it out of.

You want your rosé to be nice and chilled if you’re drinking it on a hot summer day or night, which is why we swear by this super-smart tip from McMartin: Invest in an insulated tumbler. Not only will it keep your rosé at a perfect level of chill, but no one will be able to tell if you throw a few ice cubes in either! Plus, it eliminates the risk of any broken glass. McMartin likes a tumbler trick for another major reason too: “It also has a lid which is important because wine attracts bugs, and who wants critters using their rosé as a swimming pool? ” Her recommendation? The Corkcicle Triple-Insulated Stemless Glass.