Rose faces an uphill battle. Not only does the wine have a name that resembles a flower (although it's pronounced rose-ay), it's also pink. The selection isn't wide, and the drink isn't popular.

Rose faces an uphill battle.

Not only does the wine have a name that resembles a flower (although it's pronounced rose-ay), it's also pink. The selection isn't wide, and the drink isn't popular.

Maybe that's because people don't know what to make of it. Michael Carfagna, who manages the wine department at Carfagna's on the North Side, urges drinkers to give it a try.

Carfagna admitted roses aren't the manliest wine, but said a chilled bottle really can't be beat this time of year. He includes roses in his Saturday wine-tasting events in the spring, and they've won plenty of people over.

Roses generally won't cost you more than about $10, but more expensive rose options do exist, Carfagna said. His suggestions are below.

Rose is made from red-wine grapes. It gets its color from the grape skins, which are left in to ferment briefly with the juices and then removed, tingeing it a light pink.


Toad Hollow (2008)

Region: Sonoma County, California

Cost: $10

Flavors: Crisp, with concentrated strawberry fruit on the palate

Pairs well with: Seafood, especially salmon, or pasta in a creamy tomato sauce

Who'll enjoy it: Sauvignon blanc and off-dry riesling drinkers

Michael Carfagna's advice: "A lot of people aren't too fond of the dry wines. They're more fond of the sweet stuff. It's not dry compared to a cab or a zin, though - it's just not sweet."


Mateus (non-vintage)

Region: Portugal

Cost: $8

Flavors: Clean, with the sweet taste of strawberry and cherry fruits and some minerality

Pairs well with: Chocolate or dark chocolate anything, especially cake

Who'll enjoy it: Sauvignon blanc and off-dry riesling drinkers

Michael Carfagna's advice: "It's a very old-school bottle. The wine has a little bit of minerality to it, because the soil and the soil deposits in Portugal are very unique, and that is reflected in the wine."


Caves de L'Angevine Rose d'Anjou (2008)

Region: Loire Valley, France

Cost: $12

Flavors: Refreshing, with a sweet edge and a dry finish

Pairs well with: Enjoy it alone or with appetizers, like a cheese tray or light salad

Who'll enjoy it: Sauvignon blanc and off-dry riesling drinkers

Michael Carfagna's advice: "Most French roses are very dry. But it's very crisp and has a little bit of a sweet edge to it in the mid-palate - which is very rare, for French roses to have any kind of sweetness."