Pink Wines For Spring!
by Julia Tausch
Spring is ramping up, summer is around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’re ready to drink rosé like it’s your goddamn job.
To that end, I’ve gathered for you a selection of my favorite pinks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have in years gone by, and most certainly will all summer long, right up to the second they once again clear the promo shelves and restock them with big-bodied, grody reds branded for après-ski (kill me).
E & J Gallo White Zinfandel, USA, $9.45
A total no-brainer pink wine, the type of dirt-cheap Californian that maybe you drank when you were a teenager or at your grandparents’ trailer in Arizona. It’s too sweet, tastes like just-moldy berries, is really only palatable if freezing cold, and won’t get you too wasted, so it’s good for a weeknight spent timidly swapping opinions of weird new writing with a like-minded bud.
Major plus: it’s available all year round, even when the liquor store has not yet revealed its summer charms. It’s there for you that late April evening when you’re like, goddamnit, nine degrees is summer enough (I’m Canadian, so that’s Celsius).
Serve with: A LOT of bread and several dips including this thing called Zest-oh Pesto which is maybe only available in Toronto, and if so I feel sorry for you because it’s cilantro-based and off the hook.
Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rose, Chile, $9.95
A charmingly non-saccharine vintage for ten bucks, I recommend sipping (chugging) this one while reading the free recipe magazine the liquor store gives out from cover to cover even though you’d promised yourself to finish your article on sexuality and disability, and also you were going to do fifty goblet squats. Fuck it! The smells of exhaust and flowers are wafting through your apartment window on the early-May breeze and damn, girl, it’s been too long since you did absolutely fuck all.
Serve with: If you can find some leftover pasta in your fridge so you don’t have to cook, that’s a really ideal pairing. Also, this wine doesn’t taste too bad at room temperature, in case you can’t wait the twenty minutes it will take to chill in your freezer and you need that syrupy burn on your lips right NOW.
Pelee Island Pelee Pink, Canada, $10.45
This bubblegum-y number is ideal for bringing to your best friend’s apartment on a Friday night. It’s equally ideal for keeping you pretty drunk as you head home around 11:30 (you’re getting old!) and pass by a woman on crutches who doesn’t speak English outside a women’s resource centre that is now clearly closed. If you’ve had enough Pelee Pink, and perhaps possess a medium-sized savior complex, you will then find yourself hailing a cab to drive you and this woman halfway across town to another shelter. The next day your Pelee Pink-soaked brain will wonder what the staff at the shelter made of you, this weird lady reeking of rosé and quaking with the desire to do the right thing. Likely they’ve seen it all before.
Serve with: A bottle and a half of this is probably just a smidge too much, but if paired with Doritos and chili-lime peanuts, you should be able to keep it together enough to meet all your world-saving needs and not feel too terrible the next morning.
Girls’ Night Out Rosé, Canada, $12.95
I kind of hate the name of this rosé. It smacks of the kind of barf-worthy, Sex-and-the-City-Girl-Power-Dove-Commercial feminism that makes me want to cry. But I love all that shit. I also love all those rigorous, righteous articles that raze those things right to the ground; calling them out for showing only the rich, white, cis-girl experience, for corporatizing feminism. That stuff makes me cry for real. Yet the tears feel somewhat the same in tenor as the tears I cried when Charlotte quit her job at the gallery to have babies with the Twin Peaks guy.
Girls’ Night Out embraces this duality: it tastes kind of acrid and uriney on the first half of your tongue, but if you actually swallow it? Tastes like cotton candy!
Serve with: For desired effect of blurring out complexity, as above, drink on an empty stomach, or alongside a dinner of popcorn.
L’Orangeraie Rose Vin de Pays d’Oc, France, $9.40
This pink wine has a problem from the get-go: it’s orange. It is, to its credit, called L’Orangeraie, but you may pluck it off the shelf due to pretty label, raging July heat, and extra Airmiles and not even notice the color issue until you’ve gotten it home. Two glasses in, you may have a small rant about it. Because let me tell you, L’Orangeraie really brings out your inner curmudgeon.
Let’s say you’re scrolling through Facebook and an acquaintance who lives in the burbs and has little kids has posted, “Bring me wine, stat.” You know the type. Just like your boyfriend’s cousin Irene who arrives at barbecues all, “Where’s the wine at?” and everybody laughs, like that’s her thing, then she drinks two sips, leaves it on a table, and switches to gingerale. Meanwhile you’re trying your best not to chug your third beer while cornered by chatty Auntie Barb. “Like, do these people think getting wasted is some kind of big joke?” you might say as you pour yourself a third glass of L’Orangeraie. Your bemused and completely sober boyfriend who’s just trying to read on the couch will laugh. You may wonder what exactly you are so angry about as you head to the fridge for just a tiny bit more.
Serve with: Best drunk straight for maximum buzz. Which is what you want. Don’t front.
Patio 9 Pink, Canada, $13.95
Not only does Patio 9 taste like strawberry ice cream, its colour is a pink that can only be described as lurid, and — the pièce de résistance — this shit is a little bit bubbly! It’s also only 9.5% alcohol, so you can drink half a bottle and still come in at your goal blood alcohol limit for normal weeknights.
So, what? Is Patio 9 about growing up? About acknowledging the agonizing serotonin drop and straight-up sweatiness of your post-thirty hangovers? Is it the linchpin of your plan entitled “Less Booze, More Botanicals for 2016,” that you hatched back in February but that hasn’t quite taken hold that’s supposed to see you dedicated to more weed (vaporized!) and special teas and squirts of passionflower and hops and valerian and motherfucking yoga? Yes. Oh yes. But can it possibly last?
Julia Tausch is drinking pink wine and working on her second book in Toronto all summer long.