How to Pair Rosé Wines for Summmertime Refreshment

Guest post by Cortney Roudebush of Sip Swirl Savor

Color Coordinate

Wine and food pairing is all about color-coordinating and for the ultimate summertime refreshment, think pink!

A good rule of thumb for pairing wine and food is to match the color of your wine to the color of your food. For instance, white wine with white fish and light-colored foods and red wine with red meat or anything with tomato sauce. But there are a lot of foods that don’t fall into either of these categories. For just about everything else, think pink!

Nothing says summer like a glass of chilled rosé. As Vanessa Treviño-Boyd explained in the Rosé Primer post, a true rosé wine is dry with fruity notes and served at a cool and refreshing temperature. The unique acidity and flavor profile of rosé wine make it a fabulous accompaniment with summer fare.

What foods pair well with rosé?

The following pink proteins are all perfect pairings for rosé wine: pork chops, roast chicken, poached salmon, charcuterie, seared duck breast, or sautéed shrimp.

Salads with strawberries and peaches, or heirloom tomatoes with burrata and watermelon, and appetizers like melon with prosciutto taste even better with a glass of rosé.

And you can’t go wrong with the most classic food and wine pairing— rosé is also a delightful option to serve with cheese, such as aged gouda, goat cheese, a gooey triple-cream or blue cheese. Are you hungry yet?

Great rosé comes from California.

I can’t do your grocery shopping for you, but I can tell you where to find great rosé. Although there’s a lot of French rosé out there, you need look no further than California for a tasty pink refresher. And just like any other type of wine, there is a lot of variety when it comes to rosé. Many wineries in California make it because it’s quick and easy to produce. Pink wine requires only a short period of aging, which means lower overhead and a cheaper retail price. It’s a win-win for wineries and wine lovers.

Another positive plug for rosé is that there are many affordable options. Although there’s nothing sugary about it, the “sweet” spot for quality California rosé is within the $15-$25 range.

Here a few food-friendly suggestions:

2011 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare (Central Coast, California; SRP $16)

This pale pink wine smells like wild strawberries and offers mouthwatering flavors of watermelon, strawberry, and citrus. Fresh and bright, this vin gris (another word for rosé) is made with both with both red and white grapes, primarily Grenache and Grenache Blanc. This wine also pairs significantly well with spicy Mexican cuisine.

2011 Meyer Family Rosé (Yorkville, California; SRP $18)

Bright citrus aromas lead to a palate of red fruit flavors, specifically strawberry, rhubarb, and raspberry. Crisp and sophisticated, this wine is made of 100% Syrah and provides enough complexity to savor on it’s own or even pair with BBQ.

2011 Starmont Rosé (Napa/Lake/Sonoma counties, California; SRP $20)

This ruby-colored wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. The nose expresses rhubarb and red grapefruit, which is followed by a lively palate of strawberry and citrus notes.

2011 Pine Ridge Encantado Rosé (Napa Valley, California; SRP $22)

A bright coral color in the glass, this wine is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruity and exuberant, it is perfumed with ripe strawberry, nectarine and flowers. Flavors of raspberry, strawberry jam, and tart cranberry are supported by vibrant acidity and a long finish.

2011 Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste Rosé (Napa Valley, California; SRP $25)

This rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is a dark ruby hue. The nose displays strawberry and iris aromas while the palate provides darker fruit flavors, predominantly red cherry and blueberry. It finishes clean with a hint of orange zest.


Cortney Roudebush is a published author, wine blogger, and social media specialist. Her first book, Where I Want to Be: A Wine Country Novel, is about living in Napa Valley and working in the wine industry. Learn more about the novel and read Cortney’s wine blog recommendations at



  1. [...] How to Pair Rosé Wines for Summertime Refreshment [...]

  2. [...] seen the interview with Sommelier Vanessa Treviño-Boyd of Philippe in Houston or our post on pairing rosé wines earlier this [...]

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