Think. Drink. Pink. A WARose Tasting

Don’t be such a sissy, it’s okay to drink pink wine! In fact if dudes were smart, they would jump on board the pink parade for one reason…the ladies dig pink. We’re not talking about your sweet and fruity Sutter Homes White Zinfandel kind of pink, we’re talking real, masculine, dry, flavorful, intense Rose of Sangiovese, Syrah, Grenache, and more. Gaining an appreciation for pink will open up your palate to a whole new tasting experience.

Rosé is made from red wine grapes. The most common method of production is leaving the skin in contact with the juice for 2-3 days and then discarded as fermentation continues. The skin imparts a pinkish (sometimes salmon or orange) color to the juice. Dry rosé tends to provide a much more sophisticated taste because there is little to no residual sugar. Rosé makes a perfect spring time and summer sipping wine because it is refreshing, crisp, and light. The perfect accompaniment to a day at the beach, lake, or…on a boat!

I recently participated in a rosé tasting with Paul Gregutt and Randall PR. Paul is the Northwest editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine and writes weekly columns for the Seattle Times. While Paul and several wine writers tasted through eight dry rosé from a houseboat in the Puget Sound, the event was broadcast live over the internet including great interaction through tweets and

I received three of the eight wines being tasted and added one more to make for a beautiful bouquet of blossoming aroma and flavor. Listening to Paul and his guests talk through the wine tasting was quite a treat. It is pretty clear to see why Paul is such a respected member of the wine community.

Things overheard on the Twitter Machine

SeattleWineGal: On the boat at #WARose trying not to laugh at the Ride The Ducks noises. Listen hard to hear the occasional quacking!
clivity: Tyler I’m as masculine as they come & I drink #warose like its my job
RandallPR: James Mantone: “this #Rosé is in direct response to our fascination with hedonistic country wines?” #WARose
nectarwine: Paul keeps talking about lipstick for #warose. Is there something we should know about @paulgwine?
winebeerWA: Winemakers in the room nodding in agreement that making rose wine is more technically difficult than white and red wines #WARose
imonaboat: TWEET! #imonaboat:-> Oh my #WARose party is getting crazy with I’m on a boat. Yes I am talking crazy and looking at …

The NectarView

2008 Skylite Cellars Rosé

  • The Stuff: 100% Rose from Sangiovese from Stone Ridge Vineyard
  • The Swirl: Strawberry rhubarb color with average clarity
  • The Sniff: Light scents of under-ripe strawberry and hints of peach.
  • The Sip: Trying not to overuse the stereotype strawberry flavor, this wine comes across as a very bold offering with a fantastically long and crisp finish. Other flavors of peach and white flowers grace the tongue prior to being whisked away by the ample acidity.
  • The Score: At $17, the Skylite Rosé is full of flowery fruit and strawberry spice. I can score this wine a 3+ out of 5 and would certainly recommend it.

2009 Barnard Griffin Rosé  

  • The Stuff: 100% Sangiovese; 12.4% ABV
  • The Swirl: Light amethyst in color with shimmering jewelry quality. Also seems to display a slight effervescence of bubbles that dissipate a few minutes after the pour.
  • The Sniff: A restrained strawberry with white pepper on the nose. Very reminiscent of a raspberry flavored tootsie pop (similar to that in color too).
  • The Sip: At first taste I picked out a tart orange rind flavor that lightly gave way to a wash of cantaloupe and other melons. The effervescence continued in the mouth reminding me of strawberry flavored Nerds candy. A hint of residual sugar gives just a small touch of sweetness.
  • The Score: At only $12, this is some serious QPR summer drinking. While the flavor is not as intense in the other Rosé tasted, I score this a solid 3+ out of 5 for value.


While eight wines in total were reviewed and the entire program will hopefully be uploaded to the Randall PR YouTube channel, the last two of my Rose tastings were tasted by Paul Gregutt and Sean Sullivan of I embedded this video below so you could see these two Washington Wine powerhouses at work.

2009 Waters Winery Rosé

  • The Stuff: 75% Syrah from estate vineyards and 25% Viognier. The two were co-fermented; 185 cases produced
  • The Swirl: Pale orange hue with salmon color infusions. Elegant color with eye catching clarity
  • The Sniff: An orchestra of beautiful flavors with solo performances by tropical flowers, light sweet perfume, and peaches.
  • The Sip: As I mentioned in the video, this wine could potentially be mistaken for a white wine in a blind tasting challenge. The Syrah makes an appearance by presenting a nice round light sweet strawberry and firm finish that shows a beautiful hint of white chocolate. Other flavors are a subtle tart presentation of rhubarb and flowers.
  • The Score: At $18 this was the first bottle to be emptied. I score it a 4 out of 5.

The 09 Waters Winery Rosé is as stunningly beautiful on the palate as it is on the eyes. The mix of light orange and salmon colors will dance in the sunlight of a hot summer day by the water. The crisp and abundant flavors of tart rhubarb relax to a gentle wash of juicy strawberries and tubarose flowers. A sophisticated dry wine to cool down a hot summer day.

2009 Dusted Valley Ramblin’ Rosé

  • The Stuff: 52% Mourvedre, 29% Counoise, 16% Syrah, 2% Viognier; 14.2% ABV; 273 cases produced; Screw cap enclosure
  • The Swirl: More jewelry in a glass with this Rosé. Subtle orange and salmon hues provide richness to the glass.
  • The Sniff: Very dynamic nose with aromas of sweet strawberry, raspberry, and steely minerality.
  • The Sip: Very soft and balanced with a flavor that starts with flowers and opens up to raspberry. The finish is dry without being tart, but the wine seems to lack some acidity. A lot of fruit flavor without coming off like candy.
  • The Score: At $18, the flavor and aroma of the Ramblin’ Rose are dynamic and forward. I score it 3+ out of 5. The seeming lack of acidity knocked this down from being a 4. Pick this wine up for under $15 and you have yourself a bargain.

Bonus pic with Clive Pursehouse “on a boat”


* Wine was provided as an industry sample with the intention to review



Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

7 comments on “Think. Drink. Pink. A WARose Tasting

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Think. Drink. Pink. A WARose Tasting | Drink Nectar --

  2. PaulG

    Josh, thanks for posting up this video – first chance I’ve had to actually see how it looked. Next time we’ll get you onboard!

    1. drinknectar

      Thanks, Paul! It was fun to participate, even if just virtually. Look forward to meeting you in Walla Walla.

  3. Ben Simons

    Really enjoyed watching the vids and reading your reviews. That Waters Winery one sounds really interesting. Maybe I’ll get a chance to try it during WBC.

    Rose is something that I’m just starting to warm up to. I never really got very into them until this year, but I’m really starting to enjoy them. Great post.

    1. drinknectar

      Ben – you’re good people. I’m sure there will be plenty of Rose to be consumed in a few short days!

  4. Kevin Glowacki

    My wife and I often stock up on assorted dry rosés, especially those from France, which still provide the best bang for the buck from what we’ve found.

    We don’t have any real favorites stateside, though we have enjoyed the Cass from Paso Robles and Maryhill from Washington.

    And of course, pink bubblies are always rockin’ good.

    1. drinknectar

      Sadly none of the wines reviewed in this post have wide distribution. Your best shot would be the Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese. Kevin, I agree – pink bubbles rock!


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