Can I still drink rosé wines in the winter?

By / Magazine / December 14th, 2018 / 8

Unless you’ve formulated some sort of personal credo that stops you from drinking it or you just can’t get your palate around the joy that is rosé when it hits your mouth, you can pour what you want no matter what month the calendar claims it is. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: while the outside temperature may enhance the pleasure of a certain style of wine, it should never stop anyone from finding ways to work it into their lives all year long.

Though I do get the underlying essence of your question. Like white pants and Spotify’s “Yacht Rock” playlists, the world does seem to stick its nose up at the drinkability of rosé wines once Labour Day passes. It’s a sentiment to which I’ve never subscribed. Let me put it this way, we drink white wine and lager beer regardless of the season, right? Both are refreshing beverages that are served chilled to enhance their thirst-quenching properties; there’s nary a tweet throwing shade on those who partake in a glass of either on a cold January evening.

What most people forget, or just plain don’t know, is that while some rosé is made by blending red and white wines together, the majority get their colour by winemakers minimizing the time red grape skins stay in contact with the juice squeezed out of them.  This means that the odds are good your favourite rosé has more vibrancy and depth of character than you may be giving it credit for, especially if you deaden its flavour by serving it way too cold. At somewhere between 7° to 10° C, any rosé worth its light pink hue will easily stand up to casual, cool weather sipping and heartier comfort food.

That said, what I love most about rosé wines are how their subtle berry goodness is so accommodating when paired with a plate full of mixed messages, like what gets served up during those big family dinners that are the specialty of the fall and early winter. Whether dry or even off-dry, a bottle of blush can cozy up to just about anything sweet, sour, spicy or herbaceous, which aptly describes the rundown of what you’ll find piled together in front you at the dinner table over the holidays.

Let’s all agree to put the myth of rosé’s seasonality to rest and drink what you like, when you like.


Fresh, funny and down-to-earth, Peter Rockwell is the everyman's wine writer. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia he's worked in the liquor industry for over 30 years and has written about wine, spirits & beer since graduating from the School of Journalism at the University of King's College in 1986. His reviews and feature articles have been published in Tidings, Vines, Occasions, Where and on to name a few; he has been a weekly on-air wine feature columnist for both CBC-TV and Global Television and his wine column 'Liquid Assets' appeared weekly in two of Nova Scotia's daily newspapers, 'The Halifax Daily News' and 'The Cape Breton Post.' Today Peter's irreverent answer man column 'Bon Vivant' appears each month in Tidings Magazine and his weekly 'Liquid Assets' column is published across Canada in editions of the METRO newspaper. When not drinking at home, and at work, Peter travels the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.

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