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We’re about to enter a five-month-long stretch of pink-wine weather. To celebrate the return of summer water, the Cut asked 25-year-old Piora sommelier Victoria James — one of Forbes’s ten New York food innovators under 30 — for a comprehensive guide to the official drink of picnics and rooftops. Then we sampled it so that we might offer our own take. Read on for the best wines to chug, take on vacation, and put in your CamelBak.


Most likely to accompany brunch: Renardat Bugey 
$27, Flatiron Wines

The Professional: “My absolute go-to picnic wine. It is a slightly sparkling wine with a bit of sweetness and a dark-pink color. It is the perfect wine to contrast salty cheeses and charcuteries.”

“Kind of tastes like I could have it for breakfast.” — Aude White, publicist

Best doesn’t-taste-like-a-rosé rosé: Lini Lambrusco
$16.99 Tribeca Wine Merchants

The Professional: “Sometimes the versatility of rosé is elevated with a bit of bubbles. Lini Lambrusco is a delicious pairing for hearty spring dishes like lamb and pastas in cream sauce.”

The Cut:  “It tastes a little sour to me.” – Ashley

Most likely to be bought in bulk: Gris Imperial
$23, Available at Piora

The Professional: “I have this by the glass at Piora. It is delicious, clean, mineral-driven, and extremely versatile. The perfect pairing for spring vegetables.”

The Cut: “Yeah, this is the bottle I want to drink all summer. Delicious, super dry.” – Megan

Closest to an actual rosé: 2015 Sulauze Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé “Pomponette”
$15.99, Chambers Street Wines

The Professional: “A fun little wine that is an essential Provençal rosé to try. It is so lovely and delicate that it’s hard not to drink the whole bottle.”

The Cut: “It looks like the Gris, but it tastes the opposite.” — Megan

“It’s very floral. I like this one.” – Ashley

Best overall taste: 2015 Bedrock “Ode to Lulu” California Rosé
$24.99 Chambers Street Wines

The Professional: “If you cannot find Domaine Tempier, look for this American rosé instead. Here, the winemaker pays homage to Lulu Peyraud of the famed estate in Bandol. The wine, just like her, is a real firecracker. Made from old-vine Mourvedre (about 120 years old), Carignan, and Grenache, it is a stellar representation of what domestic rosé can be.”

The Cut: “I want all the bottles of it.” – Megan

“It’s a richer, bolder Pomponette. I like this one.” – Ashley Weatherford, associate beauty editor

Overall aesthetics winner: Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige 2015
$22 per bottle, Tribeca Wine Merchants

The Professional: “Hailing from a small town in the south of France, this biodynamic wine is made from Grenache and Cinsault. It is many things a rosé should be: light, easy, and pretty. Pair with typical sud de France Mediterranean cuisine.”

The Cut: “It looks very French. Is it French?” – Ashley

“That one is my favesies. It’s light, highly chuggable.” – Eve Peyser, writer

“It’s a rosé I would drink at a ski resort.” — Leah

“Yeah, like when an older man invites me out and I want to impress him.”— Eve

Most chuggable wine: Cep D’Or Aop Côtes de Provence, Les maitres Vignerons de la Presqu’ile de Saint-Tropez
 $13.99, Tribeca Wine Merchants

The Professional: “In the 1960s, the growers of Saint-Tropez banded together to form this promotional outlet for their little-known wines. No need to summer in Saint-Tropez; this year take a few sips of this Provencal rosé instead. Chill down this traditional vintage-shaped bottle and throw it in your beach bag.”

The Cut: “This one is my favorite. It’s very dry. I get like, berry, melon, summer thing. It tastes like the kind of rosé I wanna drink in the summer.”— Megan

“I like it, but it’s boring.” — Leah

“A good wine for chugging. It’s an easy wine. It’s the wine you order when you need a quickie glass.” — Eve 

More here: http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/04/ultimate-rose-wine-guide.html