The pick: La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé, 2018, a pink manages to be both fun and serious at the same time.
Is it pink wine season yet? That’s a trick question, since pink wine is always in season these days. Still, even though it’s recently become perfectly acceptable to drink rosé year-round, it’s okay to get excited about all the new pink releases that start to pour into liquor stores every Spring. La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé is one of the first out of the gate and, dare we say it, a pretty excellent start to the season.
Backstory: Although France once completely owned the dry rosé wine scene with its seasonal releases from Provence, over the past few years some lovely New World expressions have started to challenge southern French dominance. California, for example, which used to be known for its sweeter “blush” wines (a.k.a. white zinfandel), is now producing some amazing, dry pink wines, too. Sometimes they’re blended from a range of grapes, but this one is 100 percent Pinot Noir, grown in La Crema Winery’s Monterey vineyard.
Why you’ll like it: It’s hard to be both elegant and fruit-forward, but that’s exactly what this dry, balanced, slightly buttery and eminently easy-drinking wine is. After chilling, let it warm up for 15 minutes before serving, so that all the cantaloupe, berry and acidic citrus notes shine through. Perfect with fresh fish, pizza or crossword puzzles on a lazy afternoon.
Since it’s usually priced at about $27 in most markets, we’re calling La Crema a moderate splurge—but well worth it. If it hasn’t arrived at your local liquor store yet, look for another dry Pinot Noir rosé from California.