It was a perfect summer’s eve on Monday, July 18, when ten members of the SFPFS’s Wine SIG gathered at Kara Nielsen’s charming home in Oakland and tasted a round-up of rosés.

Bob Anderson sourced the wines and presented them to the group. We sampled eight wines, ranging in color from pale apricot to Hawaiian Punch raspberry. Four wines were from Northern California—Napa, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Lodi—while four more hailed from France’s Provence. The domestic bottles were single-variety rosés, while three of the French wines were blends and one was 90% tibouren, a grape few of us had ever heard of. Vintages ranged from 2009 to 2015, with most being 2014 or 2015, and prices (it was later revealed) ranged from $12.50 to $28.

Wine by wine, we swirled, sniffed, sipped, and made notes. Most inspired discussion—about flavors and aromas, whether we liked it or not, and whether it fit our expectations. After all the wines were tasted, we voted for our top three favorites. Here’s how they ranked:
#1 (7 votes): Commarderie de Peyressol ($23)
#2 (6 votes): Magali Signature ($16)
#3 (5 votes): Cline Ancient Vines Mourvedre Rosé ($16)
#4 (4 votes each): tie between Checkerbloom Syrah Rosé ($25) and Premiere de Figuiere (the upscale label from the makers of Magali) ($23)
#6 (3 votes): skn ($12.50 at auction)
#7 (2 votes): Tibouren Clos de Cibonne ($28)
#8 (0 votes): Stama ($12.50 at auction)

Eventually, the table was cleared—or at least as clear as a table can be when it’s groaning with eight wines! —and the group enjoyed a pot luck. Many dishes went really well with rosé, proving its versatility for pairing.

Many thanks to Kara Nielsen for hosting the event, Bob Anderson for sourcing the wines (with an assist from Linda Carucci) and leading the tasting, and Victoria Green for organizing.