You may not have Madeira kicking around the house for Independence Day, as did the signers of the Declaration of Independence, but there are plenty of other wines out there to consider for your celebration. Here are a few American Rosés, coast to coast, that will stand up to whatever you’re grilling, slathering with spices or smothering with BBQ sauce.
EAST. Red Tail Ridge Dry Rosé, 2022 Finger Lakes. Estate grown, this is a blend of 83% Cabernet Franc, 12% Zweigelt—a crossing of the Austrian Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent grapes—and 5% Pinot Noir. Blaufränkisch is one of the specialties of the house here, perhaps a bit of an esoteric choice, but given the winemaker’s credentials—Nancy Irelan has a doctorate in grape genetics from the University of California-Davis program—that makes sense. And it gives a Rosé made with real intention. This one is a pretty salmon pink in color and shows pink grapefruit on first sip, then leads to cranberry and garden rhubarb—a more savory rosé that will stand up to BBQ.
Sheldrake Point Rosé of Merlot “Beta Series” 2022, Finger Lakes. A pretty copper-penny pink introduces this dry wine, a product of the winery’s small-lot production. Super dry and crisp, it has a slightly herbal on the nose before opening up into a more tropical expression of peach, pink grapefruit and little bit of ripe, sweet guava that lingers on the finish. Great aperitif wine or to accompany soft cheeses.
Wagner Vineyards Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2022, Finger Lakes (NY). Five generations of the family have been producing wine from the eastern slopes of Seneca Lake and this dry, ripe rosé demonstrates that experience. This one shows tart strawberry and cherry, has a nice food-friendly structure to it, and holds its flavor on the palate from start to finish. I want this with smoky ribs. Sustainably farmed, estate bottled.
SOUTH. Duchman Family Winery Dry Rosé 2022, Texas. Made from 100%-Texas grapes, this is a peachy wine—both in character (soft, pleasant, you want to take it home to meet the parents) and flavor profile with a little bit of white flower. A blend of the Italian grapes Dolcetto and Aglianico, it’s a mouth-watering, medium-weighted wine that go with soft cheeses or even dessert.
Ron Yates Grenache Rosé, “Farmhouse Vineyards” 2022, Texas High Plains. Always a pleasure to sample wines from this winery, which produces wines from Texas-only grapes. Though Yates struck out on his own, eight generations of know how are behind this label, with its grapefruit/tropical-fruit-driven taste profile. Medium bodied, it has a creamy weight to it and plenty of mouth-watering acid and a long, savory finish.
WEST. Goose Ridge Vineyards Revelation Rosé, Goose Gap 2022, Columbia Valley, Washington. An attention-getting label, a pretty-in-pink bottle and a thoroughly pleasant, if not terribly complex quaff all conspire to deliver a fun wine for a beach BBQ. No need to take this too seriously, but that is the pleasure in this wine, with its white flower and brisk red-fruit profile.
Sullivan Rutherford Estate Rosé 2022, Napa Valley. Coppery-salmon in color, with a hit of blood-orange/citrus, this has a muted red-fruit nose—more like juicy mid- to late-summer fruits than sprightly spring. It’s a bit savory, so consider this with more complex flavors such as spice rubs on meats and grilled spiced sausages. You detect a theme here?