For a few years now, Michelle and I have been on a mission to drink exclusively rosé (and rosé-adjacent drinks) when the temperature is above 60 degrees, but we’ve never really kept track of what we tried. This year we decided to document our rosé journey, both for ourselves and for the good of the people.
So here it is, the 2017 Rosé Exposé. All wines were purchased on the west side of Cleveland as we work to achieve our professional goal of tasting every rosé under $20 in the greater Cleveland area.
Disclosure: we generally prefer a dry rosé, so as we move forward with our hella scientific rosé reviews, keep in mind that we are leaning away from sweetness. If you like your rosé sweeter, you’re going to want to take the opposite of our recommendations.
Disclosure two: we aren’t ranking rosés on price since we tried to keep everything within the $7-15 range, with the occasional splurge on a $20 bottle.
Disclosure three: while this exposé began with diligent photography, we’ll admit that as our commitment to testing these rosés increased, our commitment to taking uniform pictures of them decreased. Don’t @ us.
Love Noir Rosé
The label on Love Noir is what initially drew us in, but the slightly smoky flavor keeps us coming back. It sounds weird, but it tastes sultry and delicious. We’ve only seen it available at Target, but it’s worth a special trip (who are we kidding, we’re always at Target).
Charles and Charles Rosé
The first rule of Charles and Charles is that you must sing the name à la the Charles in Charge theme song.
In all seriousness though, Charles and Charles is a go-to rosé. It’s widely available in the Cleveland area, easy drinking, and a good price.
We’re going to be harsh here: this wine looks cheap and tastes cheap. We’re not opposed to cheap wine (obviously), but we’ve had better cheaper wines. Not worth your time, unless your only other option is the Underwood can.
Santa Cristina Rosé
At $11.99, this bottle starts to creep into the high end of our price range (when you’re playing the quantity game you get stingy). But, it got the stamp of approval from Michelle’s sister Jennifer, notorious distruster of pink wines. Jennifer does prefer her wines sweeter though, so take that into account.
Cidergeist Bubbles Rosé Ale
The first in the rosé-adjacent category, this is a cider/rosé mash-up. It tastes exactly like you would expect rosé mixed with cider to taste, so if you’re craving one or the other then don’t drink this. It’s more of a novelty item than anything (and it’s cute!) but definitely worth trying.
This wine is mellow in that it tastes like nothing and is possibly watered down. It’s essentially a step above alcoholic seltzer. Hannah has accidentally fallen into the Savas Rosé trap more than once as Heinen’s was pushing it on an end cap. Multiple tastings of it did not improve its score.
Dark Horse Rosé
The aptly-named Dark Horse promised to be dry, bright, and crisp, and it delivered. Michelle was pleasantly surprised by this $8.49 find at Convenient.
Whispering Angel Rosé
We had high expectations for Internet darling Whispering Angel, but we’ll admit that we were underwhelmed. It definitely didn’t taste bad, but we expected more for the hype. At $14 for a mini bottle, it just seemed like there were better wines we could get for our money.
As big fans of the Apothic Red blend, we were excited to try out their rosé offering. It’s super mild; we’re talking essentially water. It’s great for a second or third bottle since you aren’t really tasting anything at that point anyway. Apothic is good to have on hand for your late night rosé selection.
First roundup winners are Charles and Charles and Love Noir. The availability, taste, and screw top convenience of Charles and Charles makes it an easy choice, and the cute label on Love Noir makes us feel fancy.
Don’t worry guys, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to taste test every rosé we can find, so there will be more installments to come of the 2017 Rosé Exposé. What have you guys been drinking this summer? Any rosé recommendations? Let us know in the comments!