rosé is a great choice any time of year. photo by carmen troesser

4 rosé bottles perfect for winter nights

Rosé is not just for summer. It may seem off brand for the wine now synonymous with long days of sunlight and vacation day drinking, but rosé has a dark side. There are rich, ruby bottles out there that no one would think to name Whispering Angel or Hampton Water.

“That sounds so derogatory!” said advanced sommelier and certified wine educator Patricia Wamhoff when she discovered the brand Summer Water. (We didn’t tell her there’s also a White Girl Rosé.) “There’s so much more to it than that,” she said.

It’s a style that offers the best of both worlds – they can have the acidity and minerality of white wines along with some of the heft and tannin structure of reds. That means not all rosés are thin, transparent and chuggable. You say rosé all day; Wamhoff says rosé all year. Here are some darker, more substantial bottles she recommends for the winter months.

rosé all year long with these wine picks. // photo by carmen troesser

1. Clos Cibonne Cuvée Tradition
This is Wamhoff’s favorite winter rosé. “This is meant to be a full-bodied rosé that can age,” she said. The wine develops extra richness from its unusual aging process in massive oak foudres under fleurettes, a thin veil of yeast more common in sherry-making than wine. 
$30. Available at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton

2. Fantini Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo  
Made with the Italian Montepulciano grape, this bright pink rosé is rich and fruity. “It has a slightly ripe cherry flavor while still having nice crispness,” Wamhoff said.
$18. Available at Ladue Pharmacy

3. La Calcinara Mun Rosé
This is another 100 percent Montepulciano. “The interesting thing about this one that gives it that heaftier feel is that the lees [sediment leftover after fermentation] are left on for several months,” Wamhoff said. “It adds some richness and body to it.”
$18. Available at Vom Fass

4. Sherwin Family Vineyards Rosé of Cabernet
Sherwin is known for producing classic, pricey Napa Valley cabs. This vibrant, berry-colored bottle is a great way to try a lighter, more affordable expression of the vineyard’s cabernet sauvignon grapes.
$25. Available at Parker’s Table

Heather Hughes Huff is managing editor at Sauce Magazine. 

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