Rosé Offers Fruit Flavor and Summer Vibes All Year Long

By: Karen Dybis | June 11, 2021
Rose in the D

Photo Courtesy of Detroit Vineyards.

It’s pink, it’s light and it has come to define the taste of summer: Rosé wines are blushing with all of the attention they have received in recent years as being an alcoholic beverage that makes people collectively happy as they sip away on a warm night. 

National Rosé Day, which someone inventively made official back in 2014, is celebrated annually on June 13. The event centers around this special type of wine, which is very sweet but also comes in a dry, still or bubbly versions. All in all, it’s a wine that you can pair with just about anything, whether it is a great barbecue on the grill, some seafood or dessert. 

Rosé typically is pinkish because it is made from a red grape. These grapes can range from the popular Pinot Noir or Syrah to Merlot to even Zinfandel. According to The Spruce Eats, the pink color comes from the skins of the red grape briefly touching the grape juice as the wine is being made – the shorter the time is for the two to come together, the lighter the pink color will be. 

The flavors of a Rosé also are what make it stand out from other wines. It is usually fruity with an emphasis on flavors such as cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Newest varieties also have added watermelon and other citrus to the mix. The drier Rosés tend to come from overseas with specialties offered from France, Spain and Italy. 

Michiganders especially like Rosé because it is so representative of spending time outside in the warm sun and around the water, experts say. 

“Rosé is best enjoyed on hot summer days in Michigan. A customer favorite is definitely our 2019 Detroit Vineyards Rosé, which was made in the French method (direct to press) and aged in stainless steel. It’s lively, fruit forward, and crisp. Best enjoyed chilled, with friends, around a fire,” said Chris Southern, winemaker and general manager for Detroit Vineyards.

If you’re interested in a Rosé and want to support Michigan wineries, here are five Rosés to sample with family and friends this summer. 

Bonobo Winery

It’s a long drive up to Traverse City from Metro Detroit, but this Rosé makes it worth it. (You also can look for local retailers and order online). Longtime natives Todd and Carter Oosterhouse created Bonobo Winery because they wanted to offer world-class wines in a rustic yet elegant atmosphere. Their Sparkling Rosé is a great example with flavors of raspberry, watermelon and baked apple with an ABV of 12%. The winery also has its 2020 Rosé, ABV 12.7%, that tastes of rose osé petals, honeysuckle and raspberry. 

Shady Lane Cellars

Head up north for this great winery, which has two Rosé selections to consider. There’s the 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé, which came about in October of 2016 when the winery hand harvested its Estate Pinot Noir, destemmed and crushed the fruit and let it cold soak for 12 hours. During the cold soak, tannin from the skins released into the juice providing just a touch of color. It also has a touch of vanilla and smoke favors. Its 2016 Coop de Rosé is described as a bright, fun and fruit-forward wine with notes of cherry, orange blossom and sweet citrus.


St. Julian Winery

Rosé fans will find a wide array of selections at this x winery, one of the most venerable vino creators in Michigan. There’s the WMS Blaufrankisch Rosé, with flavors of strawberry, raspberry and subtle spice. The BR Serious Rosé tastes of fresh cherries and strawberries. Lastly, there’s also a medium-sweet rosé called Native Root, which has a light pink color and the flavors of Catawba grapes. 

Good Harbor

This family-owned winery has been creating great wines since 1980. Good Harbor’s goal is to come up with regionally distinctive wines that highlight its location, two mile east of the Lake Michigan Coast in Lake Leelanau. Consider its 2020 Pinot Noir Rosé for your next party or family get-together. It is described as having aromas of cherries and strawberries. 

Left Foot Charley

If you’re looking for something with a little bit of tart acidity to it, then you’ve come to the right place – and it’s right near the best views in Traverse City. Left Foot Charley has given adults who love Rosé another beverage to try: Its Otterson Apple Cider, which is its first rosé cider made entirely from red-fleshed apples. The texture is great and wine makers say it has “a firm grip and striking acidity.”

Remember to drink responsibly and plan ahead with a designated driver or take advantage of one of these local designated driving services.