Rosé is often known as “pink wine,” but just how pink is pink? If you’re only drinking pale rosés, you’re limiting yourself to one side of the rosé taste spectrum. Rosé can range from peach colored to nearly red, and you should be drinking it in every color. Here’s how different shades of rosé taste from lightest to darkest.

Provence rosés are primarily made from Grenache grapes, which are often blended with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. They’ll typically have bright flavors like sweet berries, watermelon, grapefruit, and freshly chopped herbs. Provence produces the most dry rosé in the world and is a wine store staple.

Pinot Noir rosé is a shade darker than Provence rosé, but shares a lot of the same fruit notes, such as strawberries and melon. It’s also similarly bright and acidic. However, Pinot Noir rosé is a bit earthier than rosé from Provence. It also lacks that “flower” taste found in the dainty Provence rosés.

Tempranillo rosés are a little spicier than Provence rosés or Pinot Noir rosés, but still have those same refreshing berry tastes. Much like Rioja (which is made from Tempranillo grapes), Tempranillo rosé will have that telltale green pepper flavor. Tempranillo rosé also shares the same floral quality found in rosé from Provence.

White Zinfandel is sweet, bright pink rosé that’s developed a little bit of a reputation as being sweet and basic due to its low price point and accidental invention. However, tropical flavors such as pineapple and banana make a great accompaniment to buttery pasta, or provide a nice foil to crisp vegetable-based dishes and anything that involves a tart, sharp pickled flavor.

White Merlot is quite similar to White Zinfandel in production and taste. It’s sweet and tastes like a raspberry tart or another decadent berry-forward dessert, like jam crepes. Like White Zinfandel, you can use it with similarly rich foods or pair it with sour foods to contrast the sweetness with stark, acidic flavors.

Sangiovese rosé has pink undertones as opposed to hues of orange. This vibrant wine strikes a delightful balance between dryness and fruit-forward flavor. You’ll get a mouth full of cranberries, raspberries, and honeydew.

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are used in rosé from all over the world. A bit darker than rosé made from Sangiovese and Tempranillo grapes, Cab Sauvignon rosé boasts hints of sweet, tangy citrus in addition to savory flavors such as leather, tobacco, and pepper. For all of those robust flavors, this rosé is crisp and acidic. You can even pair Cabernet Sauvignon rosé with light seafood or a diced veggie platter.

Syrah rosé is dark red – a clear indicator of the grapes from which it’s made. Syrah is a very tannic grape, so it produces a more hearty rosé. However, in addition to strength, Syrah rosé is full of mouthwatering purple fruit. Expect plums, dried cherries, and fresh blueberries mingling with hints of smoke and spice. This is great with stews that have both savory and sweet elements, like meat and ripe tomato.

Montepulciano rosé is a deep ruby color. In fact, it’s labeled “cerasuolo,” which means cherry red. This wine is medium bodied, with sophisticated spices and fruit you might add to mulled wine. Think cloves, cinnamon, orange peel, and dried fruit. Montepulciano rosé is made in Italy’s Abruzzo region, where the pigment-rich Montepulciano grape skins easily color the juice in a short amount of time.

Tavel is a region of the Rhône Valley dedicated to exclusively making rosé. Comprised mainly of Grenache grapes, this is the rosé for red wine lovers. Tavel rosé is hearty, spicy, and full of assertive tannins. It’s a pink wine that can actually stand up to meats and other strong flavors and textures. Tavel rosé is very dark, its intense color indicative of the powerful taste in the bottle.


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Wine’s transporting experience is one of the reasons we continually come back for more. Taste a great Rioja, and you’re instantly taken to the sun-drenched, rolling hills of northern Spain. Pop the cork of a Tasmanian sparkler, and boom—you’re standing in the crystalline water of Cole’s Bay. Tasting wine is a trip unto itself.

Yet there’s something to be said for the connection made when we travel to the place in which great wine is made, and the insight that experience can offer us regarding what’s in the glass.

Each year, editors of Wine Enthusiast  traipse the globe in search of the world’s most exciting wine destinations. From the iconic Old World to surprising newcomers, the following list should shape your travel plans for the year to come.

Finger Lakes

FingerlakesWithin the world of fine wines, the Finger Lakes wine region in upstate New York is a soon-to-be revealed secret. Nestled amidst bucolic farmland and the spindly glacial lakes for which the region is named, it’s home to some of the best cool-climate wines in America. Known particularly for world-class Riesling, it’s also home to an increasingly diverse array of wines, from Grüner Veltliner to Teroldego. Over 100 wineries surround the three main lakes, Cayuga, Seneca and Keuka. But with spectacular sights and a blossoming local food culture, the region is unlikely to stay hidden for long. —Anna Lee C. Iijima


PiedmontLocated in northwest Italy and bordering Switzerland and France, Piedmont is Italy’s second-largest region, and the most mountainous. The majestic, snow-capped Alps make a stunning backdrop to the rolling, vine-covered hills. And these aren’t just any vineyards. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2014, vineyards in the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato areas are amongst the most celebrated in Italy. They’re home to famed reds made from Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, as well as Moscato d’Asti, a lightly frothy dessert wine. Piedmont, which means “foot of the mountain,” is also a culinary paradise, famed for its rare white truffles. Throw in outstanding lodgings, and you have a wine lover’s dream destination. —Kerin O’Keefe 

Hawkes Bay

HawkesbayThis bucolic region excels at classic Bordeaux varieties, while Syrah is angling to become the area’s flagship wine. Beyond the bottle, however, the landscape, food and people are, as the country’s marketing slogan campaign says, 100% pure New Zealand. In this grape-growing paradise, rumpled hills sprinkled with sheep are intersected by rivers and hug a spectacular curved bay along the Pacific coast of the North Island, while sheltering ranges tuck vineyards in from the west. Warm, dry summers and long autumns—mixed with a maritime climate—keep grapes healthy and happy. Because Kiwis have a strong affinity for the outdoors, athletically inclined wine lovers can pursue both health and happiness, cycling a network of well-organized biking trails between winery visits and farm-to-table repasts. —Lauren Mowery

Rhône Valley

France’s second-largest wine-growing area is vastly diverse. Breathtakingly beautiful villages and well-tended vineyards line the region’s 13 wine trails, highlighting the different landscapes of the Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages. Starting at the Camargue, the routes head up through Provence toward Lyon, providing insight into culture and winegrowing along the way. The Rhône Valley covers roughly 150 miles and 5,500 estates, and it’s traditionally demarcated between the narrow north and sprawling south. You’ll need to make some tough choices, depending on the length of your trip. —Louise Hurren


Expect the unexpected in Orlando. Shrugging off its just-for-kids image, it sports brag-inducing eats and world-class wine experiences, particularly in new neighborhoods like the Mills 50 District and Winter Park. Ricky Ly, author of The Food Lovers’ Guide to Orlando, points to nominations of several local chefs for James Beard Foundation awards to illustrate the city’s culinary chops. “From hidden speakeasies like The Pharmacy, to the Basque-style restaurant, Txokos Basque Kitchen, serving cola-and-wine-braised kalimotxos pork belly, there is something to be found for every wine and food lover just outside the theme park gates.” —Alexis Korman


GaliciaOccupying the northwestern corner of Spain, Galicia is a unique part of the country, a region settled by Visigoths and Celts, where the residents still speak a language known as Gallego. Galicia’s four provinces comprise Spain’s emerald oasis, where copious amounts of rainfall during winter and spring swell the region’s rivers and turn the countryside green. A major part of the verdant landscape includes vineyards, with the wine regions of Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras and Monterrei all offering excellent touring and tasting opportunities. Add Galicia’s world-class seafood, and the region qualifies as a top destination for adventurous wine-and-food lovers. —Michael Schachner


OkanagancopyThe license plates read “Beautiful British Columbia.” Ubiquitous ads call it “Super, Natural.” But taglines don’t do justice to the splendor and variety of Canada’s southwestern province. One shining jewel within the region is the Okanagan Valley, located about 240 miles east of Vancouver. Located between the Coastal and Monashee mountain ranges, the valley is anchored by a series of narrow, crystalline lakes. Long a center for agriculture, it’s also a four-season outdoor playground. Water sports, golf, winter sports, hiking, biking—you name it, the Okanagan has it going full blast. But it’s the 131 wineries, more than 8,000 acres of vineyard and broad range of wines that make this one of the greatest wine touring experiences in the world. —Paul Gregutt

Loire Valley

LoirecopyAs if designed for riverside picnics, the Loire River flows by vineyards from the mountains of central France to the Atlantic Ocean. The best and most diverse vines are rooted in the Loire’s heart, in the Anjou and Touraine regions, which are but a 90-minute train ride from Paris. It was here, in the 16th century, that French classic cuisine first found its great expression. This is France’s best wine discovery region for big castles, medieval cities and small family wineries. Tasting Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc here will forever change your perceptions of these grapes. —Roger Voss


MendocinoMendocino County has 107 wineries and more than 17,000 acres of vineyards, but it draws visitors for other pleasures like giant redwoods, Dungeness crab, wild chanterelle mushrooms, an exhilarating rocky coast and, yes, marijuana cultivation. Mendocino is laid-back, to say the least. A two-plus hour drive north of San Francisco through Sonoma County, traffic is practically nonexistent except for logging trucks. Tasting rooms and restaurants are rarely crowded, but lodging options are scarce except on the coast near the New England-esque town of Mendocino. Ukiah, in the warmer, drier inland valley along Highway 101, is the biggest city, with a whopping population of 16,000. Since 95 percent of the land in Mendocino County is rolling or mountainous, it offers plenty of bends in the road to explore. —Jim Gordon


Istriacopy (1)The wedge-shaped Adriatic peninsula known as Istria has a rich and dramatic history. It was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then ruled by Italy, later incorporated into Yugoslavia and is today governed by Croatia. Ninety percent of Istria is in Croatia, with the remainder in neighboring Slovenia and Italy. Remnants of a distant Roman past, Venetian Empire architecture, picturesque hilltop villages, panoramic sea views, year-round festivals, inspired cuisine and fantastic wines are all reasons to put Istria on your bucket list of wine regions to visit. —Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

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Syrah and Shiraz are the exact same grape, much like Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are also the same grape. So whether you’re drinking a wine that says Syrah or a wine that says Shiraz, the wine is made from the same grape. The French call the grape Syrah, while Australians call the grape Shiraz. If your label says Shiraz, there’s a good chance it’s from Australia. The rest of the world tends to follow the French and call the grape Syrah, but this is not a strict rule. Syrah is pronounced sih-RAH. Shiraz is pronounced sher-AS (rhymes with jazz).

Over time, however, Syrah and Shiraz have taken on meaning beyond preference of name. Australians like to make big jammy wines from this grape, and wines named Shiraz tend to be in this style. The French make less fruit-forward wines in general, so wines named Syrah tend to be more restraint than Shiraz. This is a general rule of thumb, but not always the case. Keep in mind that although Shiraz and Syrah can be different stylistically, they are still the same grape.

Petite Sirah, on the other hand, is an entirely different grape than Syrah/Shiraz, although it sometimes gets confused because Sirah is pronounced the same as Syrah. Elsewhere in the world this grape is called Durif. Petite Sirah wines are big and inky with tons of dark fruit flavors. Don’t make the mistake that this grape is in any way related to Syrah/Shiraz, as people sometimes do.

In short: Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape, both used depending on the brand/winemaker preference. Petite Sirah is a different grape and has no relation to Syrah and Shiraz.

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See the results of The World of Fine Wine‘s inaugural World’s Best Wine Lists. Over 4,000 restaurants from around the globe were judged for the awards.

Chaired by WFW editor Neil Beckett, the distinguished panel of judges comprised, along with WFW contributing editor Andrew Jefford: the World’s Best Sommelier 2010 Gerard Basset MS MW OBE; WFW columnist and food editor Francis Percival; author and wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg News Elin McCoy; publisher of The Singapore Wine Review and wine columnist for Singapore’s largest circulation Chinese newspaper, the Lianhe Zaobao, Ch’ng Poh Tiong; and author and globally respected Champagne expert Tom Stevenson.

The judges awarded 750 restaurants from around the world a one-, two-, or three-star award, only 225 wine lists making it into the top three-star category. The judges also identified, region by region and for the world as a whole, the most exciting lists in five categories – Best Overall Wine List, Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List, Best Dessert & Fortified Wine List, Best By-the-Glass Wine List, and Best Short Wine List. Finally, the judges recognized with a special Jury Prize several lists that showed distinctive character and flair or were particularly strong in a specific wine style.

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Who? U.S. President, author of The Declaration of Independence
Thoughts on the matter: “No nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage.” (Photo:



Who? Comedian, film star, cigar smoker
Thoughts on the matter: “I shall drink no wine before it’s time! OK, it’s time.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)



Who? Food TV personality
Thoughts on the matter: “I never taste the wine first in restaurants, I just ask the waiter to pour.” (Photo: Kitchen Daily)



Who? American author
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


Who? American author
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


Suze-Orman-wine1 (1)

Who? Energetic financial advisor

Thoughts on the matter: “The funny thing is, wine is turning out to be a great investment. I couldn’t believe what happened with the value of my wine futures. I pinched myself and asked, ‘Did I just make more money on wine barrel futures than I did on the stock market?”


Drew_Barrymore_wine1 (1)

Who? Film actor/producer/director
Thoughts on the matter: “I’m sure wine snobs look at me and think, how dare you.” (Photo: Gogomix)


Who? Poet, author, Civil Rights activist
Thoughts on the matter: “Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.” (Photo: Brain Pickings)


picasso_wine1 (1)

Who? Painter
Thoughts on the matter: “I like all paintings. I always look at the paintings, good or bad, in barbershops, furniture stores, provincial hotels. I’m like a drinker who needs wine. As long as it is wine, it doesn’t matter which wine.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


Shakespeare_wine1 (1)

Who? Playwright and Bard
Thoughts on the matter: “Give me a bowl of wine. I have not that alacrity of spirit Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


Carla-Bruni-Sarkozy1 (1)

Who? Supermodel, former French First Lady
Thoughts on the matter: (While presiding over an auction) “At 200,000 euros, I’ll deliver the wine. At 250,000 euros, my husband [former president Nicolas Sarkozy] will deliver it with me. (Photo: Vogue)