Wine Is Fine, But Rosé Is Better: 9 Rosés Under $15 to Sip This Summer
If you haven’t noticed — and unless you’re living in the proverbial cave, certainly you have — it’s hot out there this summer.
And when we say it’s as hot as it’s ever been, we’re not exaggerating. According to the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, July 4, 2023, was the hottest day on Earth in 125,000 years. The global temperature reached 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit, as cities around the world set record high temperatures.
But it’s summer, right? You still got to go on that lake trip, have that backyard cookout or that picnic on the beach.
On a hot day, a cold beer might be the perfect pairing for some of us. Others might prefer a refreshing margarita. But what about a nice, cold glass of rosé wine?
“Nothing screams summer more than a delicately pale pink dry wine from Provence,” says Elise Loehr, advanced sommelier and beverage director at 360 Bistro in Nashville, Tennessee. “In the heat of summer, an added benefit of drinking rosé is that they tend to be relatively low in alcohol, (11%-13%) so you can drink a couple of glasses and not wilt.”
Rosé is a very versatile wine, too, that works for brunch, lunch or dinner or as an appetizer and pairs nicely with a variety of light meals, salads, shellfish and fish, according to Loehr.
While rosé, like many wines, might get the reputation for being expensive and bougie, you can actually find a wide array of the best rosé wine for affordable prices. Many are as low as $15 or less.
What Is Rosé Wine?
“While there are many ways to make pink or blush wine, most rosé is created when the skins of red grapes are in contact with the juice for only a short time at the beginning of fermentation,” Loehr says. “Sometimes that takes just a mere few hours.”
So unlike red and white wine, rosé doesn’t come from a “rosé” grape. As the experts at Wine Folly say, “Pink wine happily spans the colorspace between red and white wine, in a way, rosé is more like a state of mind.”
Red wines ferment for weeks at a time in their grape skins, Loehr says. Any red wine grape can be used to make a rosé, whether that’s a syrah, cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo, pinot noir and others.
“The winemaker controls the color of the wine, and removes the red grape skins when the wine reaches the right color. Additionally, the thicker the skins of the grapes themselves, the greater the potential for a deeper hue,” says Loehr.
9 Cheap Rosé Wines Under $15
To help you find that perfect, low-cost rosé pairing for the summer months, we put together a list of quality, inexpensive rosé wines with some expert help from Loehr.
1. Quinta da Raza Vinho Verde Rosado
“This rosé has a blend of local Portuguese Vinho Verde red grapes. It’s a crisp rosé that is very light, slightly off dry, with a light refreshing prickle,” says Loehr. “A tremendous value, delicious on its own or with spicy shrimp tacos.”
2. Mary Taylor Saint-Pourçain Rosé
This delicious rosé has a medium salmon-pink hue with aromas of peach, apricot, hints of raspberries and rose petals. Loehr says this wine has a “refreshing crispness and a mouthwater finish.” She suggests pairing it with a summer strawberry and goat cheese salad.
Winemaker Mary Taylor works with individual growers across Europe who produce “exceptional, regionally distinctive wines at extremely accessible prices” and thinks about wine differently, Loehr says.
“(She sees wine) not as a luxury good reserved for special occasions, but a living agricultural product that belongs to everyday life,” according to Loehr.
3. Landhaus Mayer Zweigelt Rosé
According to Loehr, this Austrian rosé has “delicate aromas and flavors of raspberries, strawberry and hints of citrus. It’s great as a refreshing aperitif, with seared fish, poultry and all kinds of summery tapas.”
4. Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé by Mas de Daumas Gassac
The famous Mas de Daumas Gassac winery in France “draws on ancient traditions, farming organically, harvesting by hand and respecting nature,” Loehr says. The wine is a mix, composed of 35% Grenache grapes, 35% Syrah and 30% Carignan.
“This light pink rosé pink is crisp and dry with modest aromas and flavors of citrus and red currants,” she adds.
5. Bieler Pere Et Fils Rosé Provence
A perfect French rosé for the hot summer.
“This winery focuses on grenache based red blends and rosé,” Loehr says. “They are dry and modest with notes of white peach, Rainier cherry, herbes de provence and white tea.”
6. Hopler Pannonica Rosé
Hopler is an Austrian, family-owned, winery located southeast of Vienna in Burgenland. According to Internet Wines, this winery is famous for making the house wines for the Trapp Family Lodge of Sound of Music fame.
This particular rosé wine has “a blend of noble Austrian grapes, pinot noir, St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch,” says Loehr. “It’s a soft light pink, with aromas of pear and lychee. It has a very smooth and easy drinking finish.”
7. Domaine Vetriccie
“Though the wild and remote island of Corsica — where this wine originates — is technically part of France, Corsican wines are more Italian in style,” Loehr says. “This particular wine has notes of fresh melon, pomegranate and subtle minerality. It’s energetic, fresh and perfect for herbed chicken and grilled veggies.”
Two More for the Road
The Penny Hoarder team picked out two of our favorite personal rosé wines. We’re not sommeliers but we’ve had a drink or two in our time and these wines won’t disappoint you.
8. Cotes de Provence Rosé
Otherwise known as the “Aldi Rosé” from the budget grocery store chain that distributes it, this gorgeous wine has won dozens of awards, including recognition at the International Wine Challenge and the Great Value Awards.
Aldi says this rosé has hints of strawberry and pairs well with fish, seafood and salad.
Price: $10 (varies by store)
9. La Patience Rosé
Christophe Aguilar’s family estate, which takes its name from a wild Mediterranean herb called “la patience” that grows throughout its vineyards in France, originally began operations in 1930 and has been certified organic since 2007.
This rosé is described as light, crisp and fruity with prominent nectarine and red fruit notes.
Robert Bruce is a senior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder covering earning, saving and managing money. He has written about personal finance for more than a decade.