There are plenty of things to love about rosé—it has that gorgeous pink hue, it pairs well with just about anything and, above all, it’s symbolic of the breezy, carefree attitude we temporarily adopt for a few months each summer.
“Summer means sun, terraces, light cooking and salads—we want freshness both in our dishes and in our glasses,” says sommelier Fabien Suquet of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, a Parisian wine bar in Manhattan. “It’s great for everybody, from new wine drinkers to those who know their fair share about wine.” Suquet, for one, certainly knows his way around the world of rosé. He’s spent more than 25 years in the industry and recently moved to New York from France, where he was a wine specialist for Christie’s in Paris. Now that he’s settled in Manhattan, he’s busy crafting the perfect wine list at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels—and for summer, that means a vast selection of rosé. We asked Suquet to recommend eight of his favorite bottles, plus the dishes he suggests serving with each one.
CHATEAU DU PAS DU CERF 2013 Côtes de Provence
Region: Provence, France
Why I love it: This Grenache and Cinsault wine immediately seduces you with its pretty garnet pink color. Very subtle aromas of red fruits, strawberries and red currants give elegance to this dry and fresh wine.
Best paired with: Charcuteries, terrine and buffet dinners.
PasDuCerf.com to purchase
CLOS CIBONNE TIBOUREN 2012 Côtes de Provence
Region: Provence, France
Why I love it: This Provencal vineyard uses an ancient regional grape variety, the Tibouren. It produces delicious, fruity wines with a spicy and floral style.
Best paired with: It has a strong character but is still very elegant and will enhance any barbecue. Very close to a red wine, it will also pairs well with mature cheeses.
DeMaisonSelections.com for retailers
SANCERRE DOMAINE VINCENT PINARD 2013
Region: Loire Valley, France
Why I love it: The Sancerre are renowned for their quality white wine, but only a few know that this soil produces very nice rosés from the pinot noir grape variety. This wine will surprise you with its finesse, complexity and great sweetness. Fruit and florals are coupled with a very beautiful acidity.
Best paired with: Charcuterie, cheeses, and more.
Domaine-Pinard.com for retailers
LES VIGNES DE BILA HAUT 2013 Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Sparkling)
Region: Roussillon, France
Why I love it: Due to its altitude, this biodynamic vineyard produces balanced wines that are very fresh. This Grenache and Cinsault rosé is sweet and delicate with tiny red fruit aromas and an exotic lychee note. I love how the mouthfeel is slightly bitter and provides a very nice length.
Best paired with: Both grilled fish and Asiatic food, which calls for very aromatic rosés.
Wine-Searcher.com for retailers
CERDON DU BUGEY NV Renardat Fâche
Region: Jura, France
Why I love it: Produced from Gamay and Poulsard, this effervescent, salmon-colored wine will surprise you. Smell it and you’ll experience a red fruit salad explosion; taste it and you’ll find notes of strawberries, raspberries, red currants and burlat cherries. It’s enhanced by a great sweetness and lightness.
Best paired with: Summery afternoons and aperitifs. It is liquid candy for those who like slightly sweet drinks.
AstorWines.com to purchase
WIND GAP Rosé 2013
Region: California’s North Coast
Why I love it: This is a complex, well-structured rosé with fruity, floral and spicy aromas. It’s powerful, fleshy and finishes with a beautiful acidity.
Best paired with: This rich wine will highlight barbecue meats, cheeses, and even spicy Indian cuisine.
WindgapWines.com to purchase
CHATEAU MUSAR Jeune Rosé 2012
Region: Vallée de Bekaa, Lebanon
Why I love it: Coming from the wine variety Cinsault, it has an aromatic complexity: sweet spices, red and blackberries. Its mouthfeel is sweet and wide, finishing with a little bitter taste that gives a nice length.
Best paired with: Spicy cooking, barbecued meats, summer salads, tuna and beef tartar and mature cheeses.
SaratogaWine.com to purchase
ETNA ROSATO Tenuta Delle Terre Nere 2013
Region: Sicily, Italy
Why I love it: This Nerello Mascalese variety wine is produced on the Etna slope in volcanic soils that give it a great mineralized taste.
Best paired with: It’s great with summer salads and grilled fish, but it also pairs nicely with pizza.
Wine.com to purchase