Patio season is upon us — well, for the most part. Here in Manitoba, we had a dusting of snow on Victoria Day, which has since (thankfully) melted, and we’re now back into double-digit temperatures (on the plus side of freezing, no less).
So with June just around the corner, it finally feels safe to settle in on the patio with some of my favourite pink wines. Here are four rosés — two from B.C. and two from Ontario — that each make a splash in their own way. Now, I suppose I should arrange to get the winter tires taken off my car…
It’s crisp, it’s fresh, it’s 100 per cent Pinot Noir, and it’s the perfect pink patio wine. The fresh strawberry and raspberry notes are joined by a hint of flora — leafy earth and fresh flowers — imparted by the notoriously fickle Pinot Noir. This Okanagan Valley rosé is bone-dry, with a splash of acidity that adds verve and focus.
Another rosé made from Pinot Noir, albeit decidedly lighter in colour than the SpierHead. There’s plenty of complexity — think red berries as well as rhubarb, light spice, floral, and raspberry notes — to this dry rosé, but it’s still fun enough to enjoy on its own on a warm day, with little need for contemplation.
Combine Gamay Noir, Merlot, Viognier, and splashes of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Syrah from the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, and you’ve got yourself this deep pink, dry, fresh rosé. Fresh fruit runs rampant through the Honest John’s Rosé, with enough complexity to keep people talking and tasting.
Tawse makes some pretty serious wines, but this blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Merlot is just plain fun. It’s bright and juicy, with red berry, watermelon, a hint of mint, and just a touch of sweetness that helps make it a fantastic patio wine to enjoy on its own or with some milder cheeses.
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.