In the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, many wines would have looked pink, but they would not have tasted much like our modern rosés. These wines were made by growing both green and purple grapes and fermenting them together, resulting in a wine that would have tasted quite bitter by today’s standards. Nowadays, paler, fresher-tasting pink wines like this one are made typically using only red grapes but where the grape juice and grape skins are separated once the desired color is achieved. Rosé wines made this way took off in the 20th century, when technological innovations like temperature-controlled fermentation tanks also improved their flavor dramatically.

All modern rosé styles trace their roots to specific regions as an adaptation to local environmental conditions or consumer demand. Rosé d’Anjou from the Loire Valley in northern France has this backstory. Thin-skinned red grapes like grolleau and gamay have long been grown there, but struggle to ripen well enough in this chilly region to make a satisfying red wine. Under-ripe purple grapes make terrific rosé though, so when pink wines caught on in the 1970s, many French vintners like this one began making ultra-slurpable wines in a lightweight and lightly sweet style that was inspired by that era’s wildly popular pink wines from Portugal and California. The result is this lip-smacking style that is not fully dry and low in alcohol, traits that make a great partner for salads or spicy foods. Ideal for beating the summer heat when served well-chilled, it tastes of strawberry sorbet and fresh watermelon.


Barton & Guestier Rosé d’Anjou Loire Valley, France

$11.99 11% alcohol

PLCB Item #1601

Sale price through June 26 — regularly $13.99.

Also available at these New Jersey stores:

Benash Liquors & Wines in Cherry Hill, $10.99, benashliquors.com; Joe Canal’s in Lawrenceville, $13.49, lawrenceville.jcanals.com; Canal’s of Berlin Discount Liquor Mart in Berlin, $14.99, canalsofberlin.com.