Ahh rosé. The perfect summertime wine. Actually, anytime wine. I am not picky, at all, when it comes to wine. There are a few real shitters I won’t touch (you know that bottom shelf bottle line up, we all do) – but I also am not going to spend 100$ on a bottle to drink every night (or day).
I have had the privledge of some really amazing exposure to expensive wines, a la Stag’s Leap, Silveroak, Darioush, etc. courtesy of my wine-connoisseur-businessman, Uncle Jim. But at the end of the day, I’ll just as happily polish off a 12$ bottle with my friends as I would one of these Cask/Reserve/Limited/Special/Vintage release wines I have so generously been introduced to since living in California. So when looking for cheap wine that doesn’t taste like shit; comes a series. Actually Good Cheap Wine. And first on my list is that perfectly peach refreshing juice of the God’s, Dark Horse Rosé.
How to find a good cheap wine.
The internet is literally at your fingers. Like, at this moment. When you’re standing in the wine aisle, chances are your phone is with you too. Google. That. Shit. I tend to look for bottles with a chic-packaging or logo, nothing cheesy, to start. Second, knowing my taste preferences, I scan the selections for those with “dry” in the description. Because that’s what I like. Anything that explicitly says sweet- not for me.
So once you’ve made your choice, scan the reviews! Chances are there are others out there (duh, me) writing some lengthy post about the notes and pairings of this wine. But you can really narrow it down by flavor descriptors that meet your tastes, and any sort of “wine ratings” you may come across. Typically you want to aim for an 80+ in my opinion, or 4 stars. Sometimes though- I just say “fuck it” and take a risk picking whatever looks cool to me. YOU NEVER KNOW. One bad bottle is not going to waste anyway, let’s face it.
Dark Horse Rosé – $9.99
Can I preface this with the fact that I’m not a sommelier, or an expert. But I do drink a lot of wine. So I know what I like, and I’m totally interested in the flavors and reasons behind my love! This particular goodie is described as “Dry. Bright. Crisp.” right on the label- okay, you got me. Not to mention I love the minimalist logo and packaging design- chic. Looks so good on a romantic flatlay, or in the middle of your dinner table with some candles lit.
At first taste: Best served chilled, I tasted a refreshing fruity flavor of raspberries, apricot and citrus. There was that earthy-minerality that I look for in a rosé (usually why I like Sauv. Blancs too), that balanced out the fruit sweetness to make it on the drier, floral side. PRO TIP: throw in some frozen berries as ice cubes instead of a real cube so it doesn’t get watered down. Super refreshing and then yummy to eat at the end.
Attributes: The wine is a blend listed as 48% Grenache, 16% Barbera, 13% Pino Gris and 12% Tempranillo (11% other). I don’t really know or care what that means, but just FYI. The site boasts “no oak contact” which is okay by me, because I hate oak and Chardonnay especially. It’s a 13.5% alcohol content, and is made in California, Central Valley. I love California wines. THE MOST. The pour is a gorgeous deep peach/pink- literally what I think of when is hear rosé. I want my whole house and wardrobe splashed in this color.
Good Cheap Wine – great alone, great with food.
If you find the right bottle for your taste, it’s awesome just to have a sip and a glass here and there solo. Ie: when I’m unwinding in the backyard writing and watching the sun go down. This rosé pairs well with cold dishes – think salads, sushi & other raw/chilled fish. I also find it goes really good with spicy flavors, rich cheeses like goat, and other seafoods/pasta dishes. I put crushed red pepper on everything to kick up the heat. Check out more about this Darkhorse Rosé on their (amazingly designed) website. Look out for more good, cheap wine recommendations that don’t taste like shit coming soon! And check out my previous post on Wine Delivery services for some more of my thoughts on vino.