I will be honest with you: my interest in rosé came out of my love for the color pink and promises of a semi-sweet wine with hints of berry flavors. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I do love a good cider, so when I saw that cider companies were putting out rosé ciders, I knew I had to try it.My best friend, Kristin, and I decided, after wandering the aisles of Total Wine to find a drink to pair with our crafting/Netflix binging/hanging out plans on Saturday, that we would take advantage of the fact that you can buy individual bottles of beer and cider and create your own six-pack, by getting one of each of the brands of rosé cider they had to have our own tasting. Since I’d never had actual rosé wine before, we got a bottle of it, too.
We let the ciders and wine chill in the fridge for a while before we pulled them out to set up our tasting. The three ciders we tried were Crispin Rosé Cider, Angry Orchard Rosé Cider, and Strongbow Rosé Apple Cider. Our rosé wine was D’Autrefois Rose de Pinot Noir. By the end of the night we’d also added the mini bottle of Cavit Lunetta Rosé we got from World Market (not even knowing we would have this experiment) and Barefoot Rosé (Walmart was out of the Rosé Spritzer we wanted) that Ronnie, Kristin’s wonderful husband, went to buy for us at eleven that night.
The Crispin cider is described on their website as “an elegant blend of apple and pear juice crafted with rose petals and hibiscus” with the taste of “present floral rose petals, tender rhubarb, fresh strawberries and honeydew melon” and a “creamy pear character resonates on the palate for some time but the richness of the fruit fades quickly” to finish.
Kristin had had regular Crispin cider before and said the taste of the rosé cider was true to the original. We both agreed that we could taste the pear finish, and of the three, this one tasted the most like rosé wine.
This is how Angry Orchard describes their rosé cider: “The red flesh apples in Angry Orchard Rosé are from France. Each apple is crisp, juicy and red to the core, adding an irresistible rosy blush and apple-forward taste with a refreshing, dry finish” and the apple varieties used are “Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and red-fleshed apples sourced in France”.
Both being fans of Angry Orchard’s wide variety of ciders, neither of us were really unsure what to expect from this one, especially because I’d actually heard from a friend on Facebook that they didn’t like it and that it was a “waste of money”. It was sweeter than the other two, but not in an overpowering way. We agreed that it was indeed refreshing, and not as dry as the Crispin. It was also the pinkest in color of the three.
The Strongbow cider is described as a “light and refreshing taste with a pleasant tartness balanced by fruity notes of red-fleshed apple and pear.”
Neither of us have had Strongbow cider before, so we were able to go in with zero expectations. Because of that, we also didn’t have anything to compare it to. Sadly, this one was a bit of a letdown. Neither of us tasted the pear and the only thing “rosé” about it was the color; it just tasted of a generic plain cider. And not really a good one, either. It tasted a bit watered down and left a bit to be desired. I wouldn’t judge all Strongbow ciders on this one, because it might have just been the apples they used, but it doesn’t exactly make me super pumped to try their other flavors.
It should be noted that the rosé ciders are made with pink flesh apples versus rosé wine being made by letting the skin of the grapes sit in the juice long enough to add color, but not long enough to turn it dark like a red wine.
The Pinot Noir Rosé is one we found in the “dry rosé” section and were drawn to it by the descriptions of “fresh strawberry and cherry aromas,” “pleasant acidity,” and “mildly sweet”. A perfect combination of the kinds of wine that Kristin and I both like.
I had her try it first to tell me her thoughts on how it compared to other rosé wines she’d had before, since this was my first time trying one. We couldn’t get over how light and refreshing it tasted. We both kept going back to it being the perfect spring wine and that it was something you’d want to have with light food. We polished off the bottle.
Overall, it was a fun experiment. The Strongbow was obviously our least favorite, and even though the Crispin tasted most like the rosé wine, our favorite was the Angry Orchard Rosé Cider. Even Ronnie agreed.
As for the Cavit Lunetta and Barefoot Rosés; the Cavit was a tasty bubbly one. Perfect balance of sweetness. The Barefoot was much sweeter than anything else we’d drank, but it was super tasty and definitely a good one to end the night on. And it’s one I’ll be buying for myself again.
Kristin and I have decided we’re going to start our own two-person wine club and Ronnie is our manager/corporate sponsor. So far we’re doing really well and have plans to have themed nights every few weeks. We’ve even signed up to take a wine tasting/pairing class and plan on taking more. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and let me know if you’ve tried any of the rosé ciders and what you thought. And if you have ideas for themes we could do for our taste-testing or have a favorite wine you think we should try, let us know!