If you know of Mateus, Lancers and White Zinfandel, you probably know that these rosé wines are sweet. That's how I stereotyped all rosé until a few years ago. I was in the Russian River Valley in search of great Pinot Noir (and it's not hard to find one there!). I visited a winery that included a rosé of Pinot Noir on the tasting menu. Often I'll just skip to tasting the wines I'm interested in. But it was novel to see a rosé on a reputable winery's tasting menu, and the server highly praised it. So I tried it. It was a game-changer.
White Zinfandel was probably what ruined my image of rosé wines. It became widely popular 10-15 years ago. At that time, it was more like strawberry soda pop (hence its popularity). Not that there is anything wrong with strawberry soda or that style of white Zinfandel, it just wasn't anything like the dry wines that I typically enjoyed. But that tasting of the Pinot Noir rosé at the winery was completely different. It was dry (i.e., not sweet) and had delicate flavors and a wonderful finish. For a dry wine drinker, like me, it was an amazing rosé!
Today you can find a lot of very nicely produced, dry rosés. Once an afterthought of wine making, rosé has now become the focus of wine makers.
And rosés are being well made around the world. Provence France is a region where rosé has always been a focus and produces excellent ones. But great rosés are also being produced in Spain from the Garnacha and Tempranillo grapes. And Italy makes great rosé from Sangiovese, Barbera and Nebbiolo. And, yes, there are a lot of outstanding rosés being produced in California, Oregon and Washington from a number of grapes.
Another great thing about rosé is that it is very affordable, typically half the price of other wines. So get out there and try a dry rosé. It's changed. And it will change your opinion of rosé! Cheers!