Roses are a great way to show your honey you love them, but a bouquet of rosé wine says, I love you and I know you this Valentine’s day. There is so much diversity in the lovely pink stuff you are sure to impress with a romantic dinner featuring only rosés, but what exactly defines a rosé?

Rosés are wines that pull flavor and color from red grape skins, but not enough to be considered a red wine. It is the best of both worlds- the freshness of a white wine, with a touch of the structure of a red wine. Rosés are typically made by either the Maceration Method or the Saigneé (san-yay) Method. The Maceration Method involves pressing red grapes and leaving the juice to soak, or macerate, with the skins for a short amount of time. The longer the maceration, the more heavily pigmented the final wine. The skins are then removed and the juice is left to ferment. Saigneé, which translates to “bleeding” in French, is made by bleeding off juice from crushed grapes that are intended to become red wine. 

What about the diversity? Rosé is made all over the winemaking world from just about every grape imaginable and can range from playful and crisp, to sultry and tantalizing. 

Here are my top picks for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day full of love and, yes, lots of rosé:

Course 1:

 JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset, Crémant de Bourgogne Brut N°69 Rosé

This wine is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy, France through the saigneé method. It is beautifully vibrant and crisp with notes of raspberry and cassis. Also, beautiful and fine bubbles… need I say more? 

Serve this rosé with warm baked brie topped with a raspberry chipotle sauce.

Course 2:

LVE Wines, Côtes de Provence Legend Vineyard Exclusive Rosé (2018)

This wine is made from Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah in the Côtes de Provence and aged for a short time on its fine lees. This adds body to the palate and complements its notes of peach blossom and strawberry. It is also a Legend Vineyard Exclusive, as in John Legend. Cue romantic moment to “All of Me,” Alexa.

Serve this rosé with an heirloom tomato salad, rustic croutons, and a red wine vinaigrette.

 Course 3:

Château d’Aqueria, Tavel Rosé (2017)

This wine is made from Groppello, Marzemino, Sangiovese, and Barbera in Lombardy in the province of Verona. It is bursting with aromas of citrus and wild berry. Verona is also the hometown to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which is beautifully romantic… if you leave out the last act. Rosé-o, Rosé-o, where for art thou rosé-o! 

Serve this rosé with oregano and fennel crusted hangar steak and ratatouille.

 

Course 4:

 Croft Port, Pink Porto

This wine is made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Amarela in Douro, Portugal. It is intensely playful with notes of candied citrus and ripe strawberry. Cheers to a love like port wine- timeless and incredibly long lasting!

Serve this rosé with cocoa-dusted strawberry shortcake. Preferably, with the shortcakes cut into hearts.

About the Author

Jennifer Stockton is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and is a Wine Educator for Northern Orange County. She started her career in retail in her hometown of Houston before moving to Oklahoma City and joining a distributor. It was there she cultivated her passion to learn and teach about her favorite subject- wine. Jenn spent the summers of her childhood with her family playing in vineyards and drinking concord grape juice. She still enjoys being outdoors with her husband and traveling to vineyards, but her favorite grape juice these days tends to be fermented.