Get ready for another banner year for Canadian rosé. That’s something to celebrate, given that, not so long ago, imports dominated the pink wine market.
Now, thanks to wineries across the country who have fully embraced the rosé movement, we have plenty of great homegrown options.
More than almost any other style, pink wine is about being in the moment. Because it’s delicate and contains fewer tannins than some other wines, rosé doesn’t get any better in the cellar. With rosé, the rule is always “Drink now.” And we say, “We’re here for it,” starting with three wines from British Columbia, where a lot of winemakers were ahead of the curve when it came to pink wine.
From the pale rose hue to the crisp acidity balanced with a hint of sweet strawberry, everything about this wine is subtle, restrained and elegant. It’s the kind of wine you save for occasions in which you want to show off a pink wine that’s got a serious side.
$25. Direct from the winery; also available at private retailers in Alberta.
This phenomenally fun pink from Okanagan has a pretty wild flavour profile with hints of citrus, stone fruit, berries and a nice splash of watermelon. If you’re thinking this is all code for sweet, think again. It’s nicely dry and totally easy-drinking and deserves to make an appearance at every summer barbecue this year.
This coral-coloured wine starts on a twangy note and then quickly relaxes into a more mellow, lightly sweet wine that tastes like a mix of melon balls and cherry pie. This wine would be great for drinking with a cheese-heavy charcuterie board loaded with plenty of fruit preserves and pickled peppers.
It’s always a treat to discover all the berries and plenty of citrus in a nicely dry rosé, such as this organic and vegan-friendly wine from Southbrook. Pretty much everything from this exacting Niagara winery is excellent, so it’s probably not so surprising that this is perfectly delicious.
Even though you might guess you’re going to get something sweet from the aromatic and floral nose, this pale pink wine is bone-dry and has plenty of bright acidity to make it a great pick for a picnic lunch. This Niagara winery, which has been working on eco-friendly initiatives since before that was trendy, is certified sustainable.
Even though we’re mostly celebrating still rosé wines right now, we had to make room for this lovely hot pink fizz, which is fresh, buoyant, super-bubbly and somehow manages to taste like tangerine and flower blossoms. If shopping at this Prince Edward County hidden gem, don’t forget to sample some of their “cheese wizardry.” Lighthall Vineyard is Ontario’s first producer to make wine and cheese under the same roof and also to age both in the same cellar. Yum.
This bright coral wine has a pretty complex flavour profile, with plenty of tart citrus, sour cherry and even a touch of bitter tannin that gives it an elegant structure. Like everything from Leaning Post, this is a serious wine that would be great with a thick and juicy piece of grilled salmon.
Named after a family ancestor who (it is imagined) had a lively celebration when she outlived her philandering husband, this rosé from Speck Brothers Family Tree Winery is more diplomatic than its namesake. It’s light, fresh and nicely dry with crowd-pleasing notes of cherry and cantaloupe—a good friend to a nice cheesy salad.
Although still under the radar, Quebec wineries are starting to generate a lot of excitement, particularly in the rosé category. While you might expect pale pinks in the style of a classic French rosé, many are bucking the trend and producing something arguably more interesting, like the rhubarb-coloured Champs de Florence made at the utterly charming Domaine du Ridge winery, which is southeast of Montreal, close to the U.S. border. It drinks like a really gorgeous light red, with a subtle touch of sweet fruit—perfect for celebrating spring.
If you’re in the area this summer, a stop to the newly renovated Luckett Vineyards is a must, given the views of Minas Bay and lovely food and drink this down-to-earth winery offers. Its off-dry pink wine is plenty of fun, with a playful little mix of citrus, rhubarb and fresh raspberries swirling together in the glass.
From the label to the finish, everything about this wine is pretty. Its ballerina-shoe pink colour, its round and full body, its strawberries-and-cream flavour profile and crisp finish all make L&W’s 2021 rosé a wine that brings you back in for a second sip. And then a third. It’s tempting to savour this wine all on its own but the wines from Annapolis Valley are famously food-friendly thanks to high levels of acidity. This rosé is no exception and makes an especially brilliant companion to seafood appetizers.
This story was originally published in 2021; updated in 2022.
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