Ontario rosé is better than ever — and folks are really starting to notice. It’s no surprise really. According to the Globe & Mail
, rosé sales are booming globally –in France, the category has even overtaken red in popularity.
Despite this global spike in sales, there are still a lot of misconceptions floating around about our favorite hue’d wine: It’s too sweet. It’s too girly. It’s only for summer patios. To that we say: non sense! Rosé is complex, rich, often very dry and perfect for eating. That’s one of the beauties of this often misunderstood beverage. It’s an amazing food wine; pairing just as easily with delicate barbecue salmon or creamy macaroni salad.
Reclaim rosé. Share your love with #RoseAllDay!
In Ontario, rosé is typically made with pinot noir, gamay or cabernet franc grapes. All varieties that grow particularly well here. Any wine called a rosé is made from grape juice left in contact with the grape skins for a few hours or so. Rosés are never a blend of red and white wine, so park that notion now.
They can be sweet or more often, dry. They tend to be similar to white wines with a little more body, a little more oomph. Like reds or white, they vary in texture and flavour, so you’ll have to try a few to find your stride.
Here’s five Ontario rosé wines we’d travel for!
Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015
This wine pours almost salmon pink in the glass due to being left on it’s skins overnight. Its herbal and rich with red berries, has a medium body and bright acidity leading to a mouth-watering finish.
Harwood Estate Vineyards Friends Rosé 2014
Prince Edward County harwoodestatevineyards.com
This is the odd-ball of the bunch as it’s made with a cold loving Frontenac Gris grape. The colour has a particularly vibrant hue unlike a traditional rosé, but still maintains the brightness associated with these wines.
Fielding Estate Rosé 2014
Beamsville Bench fieldingwines.com
Lighter in colour with a nose of cherries, raspberry and some say, cream soda or cotton candy. It’s made in a crisp, dry style with refreshing acidity that folks love. So much so that it took home a Silver Medal at this years’ 2016 National Wine Awards of Canada.
Cooper’s Hawk Rosé 2014
Essex County coopershawkvineyards.com
Probably the sweetest of the wines on our list, this beauty has surprising floral notes, especially on the nose and a palate reminiscent of fresh strawberries and cream. it’s one of the few wines we’ve tried that pairs near perfectly with milk chocolate — so bring on all them cakes!
Malivoire Rosé Moira 2015
Beamsville Bench malivoire.com
The nose on this wine is all over the place with different people reporting white cherry, emon drop, honeydew melon, pear, strawberry, cream and even rosewater. It’s composed entirely of pinot noir hand-harvested from the Moira Vineyard in Niagara and is super refreshing. Bonus:
it comes in 1.5L magnums!
Did you know Ontario produces wonderful rosé bubbles?
Here are just a couple of our favorites, right now — each as unique as the next!
Pelee Island Winery Lola 2014
Pelee Island peleeisland.com
This might very well be our favorite discovery of the summer. Made using the Charmat Method it’s got tell tale hints of strawberry. It’s light, it’s refreshing, it’s even got a screw top — perfect for poolside sipping!
Hinterland Ancestral 2015
Prince Edward County hinterlandwine.com
Named for the original way of making sparkling wine, the Ancestral is produced using similar techniques first employed by the monks of Saint-Hillaire abbey in 1531. The carbon dioxide is captured during the primary fermentation producing a lightly sparkling, off-dry, wine with unique cranberry notes.
Featherstone Cuvée Joy Rosé 2014
Made with %100 estate grown pinot noir, this is a handsome, structured sparkler. It’s made in the classic French champagne method and sports tiny bubbles, almost creamy in texture and a rosie pink hue. The perfect celebration wine.
For all your wine country adventuring needs, check out Wine Country Ontario!