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Rosé All Day – Okanagan Edition

Rosé is a fast-growing retail wine category in British Columbia and many wineries have recognized the demand for this style of wine.

Consistent with spring and blossoming flowers are the release of fresh rosés from producers around the province.

Fortunately, the Okanagan Valley is home to over 150 wineries which offer a rosé for every palate.

Depending on where you live and your access to British Columbia wine, rosés from Provence in France are still a top seller around the world but have started to face some real competition from the local market.

When visiting a liquor store, it’s hard not to notice the dramatic increase of pink wines on the BCVQA shelves.

This is encouraging to see because this means consumers are exploring more and experimenting with new wines outside of their comfort zone.

Thankfully, a good portion of local producers are making rosé which is dry, pale in colour, and similar to the famed rosés of Provence. The off-dry examples aren’t as sweet as they used to be with an increase of acidity to balance the palate.

Words on the bottle such as sweet or off dry can help direct your purchases depending on what you’re searching for. Also, the alcohol levels are an indicator of how much sugar is in the bottle of wine. Higher alcohol equals less sugar, while lower alcohol relates to higher sugar.

Nearly any red wine grape can be used to make rosé wine. Although, there are some common styles and grapes that are preferred.

Rosé is created when the skins of red grapes touch wine for a short amount of time. In perspective, red wines can ferment for weeks at a time on red grape skins, whereas rosé wines gain their colour just after a few hours.

The colour of rosé does not have a direct correlation with sweetness, rather it is an indication of how long the skins have sat on the juice for. Personally, I love the diversity of colours found in rosé.

Pink is in the middle of red and white on the colour spectrum, and this type of wine highlights the best of both. Rosés offer the acidity and freshness of white wines, in addition to the structure, berry fruit, and tannin presence found in red wines. This is exactly why rosés are so food friendly and adored by sommeliers.

It’s not surprising these wines are being picked up by restaurants, tourists, and locals at a rapid pace. As I mentioned before in a previous blog post, rosé wines are some of the first to sell out at wineries due to the lower production and high demand. I strongly recommend exploring rosé early in the season to find your favourites and stock up on them while you can.

In my opinion, rosé is an excellent choice to enjoy during the summer months whether you’re sipping on a patio or enjoying a day at the lake with family and friends. This style of wine pairs very well with a wide range of foods including barbecue fare, seafood, sushi, poultry, and salads.

Below are my recommendations of rosés that I have tasted so far this year. There are also several rosés listed from reputable wineries that I'm eager to taste.

Think pink and drink local my wine friends!

2021 Rosés I have tasted and recommend:

Black Market Omerta – Sensual, plush, and luscious, this fruit-forward wine has amazing depth and complexity. Aromas of strawberry-rhubarb pie and red cherries lead the way to a creamy and unctuous palate of apricot, yellow plum, pomegranate, and strawberry compote. Crisp acidity shines from the entry through the long finish, with only the faintest hint of white pepper.

Maverick Rosé - The nose is subtle with citrus blossom, watermelon, and tarragon notes, as well as some sage. The palate is crisp and refreshing with red apple, lemon-lime, and subtle blood-orange notes, very refreshing and tasty.

Poplar Grove Rosé - Aromas of fresh raspberries and apricot combine with an enticing hint of blood-orange. A robust palate of ripe nectarines and cantaloupe is well-balanced with citrus notes.

Quails Gate Rosé - The 2021 vintage opens with fresh fruit aromas of watermelon, raspberry, guava, and passionfruit. On the palate, this wine is light, fruity, and satisfying from the approachable entry to the refreshing, crisp finish.

SpearHead Rosé - Notes of wild strawberry, pink grapefruit and orange peel on the nose. Crunchy acid with flavours of cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry rhubarb pie filling on the palate. Long creamsicle finish with a savory note.

2021 Rosés on my top-list (haven’t tasted the current vintage yet):


Javen - Poured By Jay

Hi, I'm Poured by Jay.

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