As the weather changes from horrifically hot to just perfectly crisp and the leaves transition from green to fiery reds, oranges and even pinks, don’t shelve your rosé glasses until next summer. Rosé prime time is on this fall. Not only does it pair fantastically with fall foods—it is oyster season after all—but some rosés even taste better in the autumnal months.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about rosé is that you can only drink it in warm weather,” says Courtney Schiessl, the sommelier at New York City’s Marta. “A lot of rosés change as they age longer, get richer in flavor and the minerality comes out.” Instead of chugging that last bottle of rosé post Labor Day, let it age as you skip the pumpkin spice and try one of these eight pink wines this fall.
The pour of this rosé ($22) reveals the freshness and fruitier qualities of a good summer rosé but with a structure more reminiscent of red wine. Expect aromas of strawberry and cherry followed by even more cherries and a hint of rhubarb. A strong tannic presence provides grip and delicious texture. “This is a wine that defies the preconceived notions of what rosé is all about,” says Marcello Cancelli, the sommelier at Chicago’sSwift & Sons. He recommends pairing this small-production bottle with oily fish, fowl (particularly game birds) or boar.
Sommelier Erin White of New Orleans’ August pours rosé year round, looking for fall and winter rosés with bolder varietal character and the use of winemaking techniques such as barrel fermentation, lees stirring and use of older vines. This 100 percent cabernet sauvignon rosé ($17), from 15- to 20-year-old vines in Margaux, has juicy red berries, spice and tomato leaf flavors that pair well with autumn grilling. Aromas of plums, dried flowers and whiffs of seaside salinity will make you want to seriously sip outside even if you need to throw on an extra layer.
“I look forward to this rosé’s release every year!” says Schiessl. “The first time I see it on a shelf, I need to grab it.” The light, bright and slightly effervescent wine ($20) tastes like that sunny Spanish vacation you probably wish you were taking come the first cold night post summer break. Notes of fresh strawberries and slightly herbal tastes call back to the sweet days of summer, but a rocky minerality from the salty Spanish coastline makes this bottle ideal for a crisp fall day.
This is the “best rosé ever,” according to Günter Seeger sommelier Sabra Lewis, so the high price tag ($62) is well worth it. Less spritzy and light than your typical summer rosé, this wine shows more depth of flavor with each sip and is made from a blend of grapes grown from 50-year-old vines in the South of France. Sommelier Heidi Turzyn of New York’sGotham also endorses this dark-hued Provençal pink wine for fall in any vintage you can find, calling it “a wine collector’s dream.”
This biodynamic trollinger blend ($19) goes through a long maceration to create a darker table wine. Unlike your typical “patio pounder,” Lewis says this is a better rosé for slow sipping with autumnal dishes like pastas, stews and soups. Yes, you should drink with your warm liquid meal. “Wine tends to elevate that texture and those flavors, especially if there’s a vegetable component in there,” says Lewis. While really any rosé (which doesn’t have red wine’s tannic structures that can throw off food) and a spoonable meal can pair well together, this mineral-forward Beurer with just a hint of saltiness should be uncorked with your next can of Campbell’s (or something better).
This unique Middle Eastern wine ($57) can be compared to the texture and feel of a rich white Rioja. The mellow and slightly spicy wine is made from indigenous Lebanese grapes, obaideh and merwah and accented with cinsault, a red wine grape. The stronger body and complexity of this rosé stands up to fall produce and savory autumn fare. To accentuate notes of citrus and almond, Daniel Beedle, the sommelier at New York City’s Indian Accent, says this wine pairs wonderfully with pumpkin or squash dishes.
Rich, cherry aromas and a fresh herb bouquet in this savory full-bodied rosé ($24) are reminiscent of the heft of that last summer rain. A deep, dark pink color makes this rosé pair with well with heavier foods like cured meats or richer meaty dishes. And its 13 percent ABV is nothing to scoff at, according to Ellie Bufkin, the sommelier at New York City’sFelidia, who recommends drinking this rosé come colder weather. The elevated acidity lends to drinking this wine slowly on its own if you’re not into the meaty pairings.
A blend of malbec, pinot noir, syrah and torrontés from the Argentine vineyard of this chic winery in New York’s Hamptons makes this “rosé with altitude,” as winemaker Roman Roth says, seriously enchanting come colder weather. A fresh aroma and notes of ripe cherries and raspberries and a slightly salty aftertaste make this easy-to-drink pale pink wine ($14) a natural fall favorite.