Six North Carolina Rosé wine and sorbet reviews for 2017

North Carolina Rosé Wines.jpg

By Jennifer Primrose

“A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rosé instead”

And so began our Summer of Rosé and Sorbet …

At some point in the last couple of years, we rediscovered rosé wine. For whatever reason, neither of us cared for rosé in the past and last year, as we were wine tasting across the state, we discovered that these wines were very enjoyable – especially in the summertime. Was it the weather that particular year? Or the soil? Maybe it was the winemaker? We may never know why our taste buds changed on us, but we enjoy a nice rosé on the wine porch. And borne of this new fascination, is our rosé series – now in its second year.

Last year, we did the 'Summer of Swine & Rosé,' where we paired an N.C. rosé with a pork dish over the course of the summer and rated each wine and pairing. This year, we decided on the Summer of Rosé and Sorbet and enjoyed pairing a rosé with a homemade sorbet. But instead of rating each wine, we decided to rate the pairings, since obviously we would not have picked up a bottle if we didn’t enjoy it to begin with.

Related Story:  Our Summer of Swine & Rosé

Piccione Vineyards Rosato Wine.jpg

Piccione Vineyard's 2015 Rosato paired with cantaloupe-orange sorbet

We kicked off our summer series with Piccione Vineyard’s 2015 Rosato paired with a cantaloupe-orange sorbet. Piccione's Rosato was made from Montepulciano grapes and offers up a nose of fresh raspberries and hints of lime. While on the taste buds, the wine hits the palate with flavors of cherry and strawberry. A fruit bomb – rosé-style!

The sweetness of the cantaloupe and orange in the sorbet paired well with the fruits found in the taste of the Rosato.

Jen gives this pairing an 8/10, while Dathan rates the pairing an 8/10.

The Rosato from Piccione Vineyards retails for $19 and the recipe for the sorbet is found here.

Dobbins Creek Vineyards Rosé.JPG

Dobbins Creek Vineyards Hemric Mountain Dry Ros


paired with


hubarb and


in sorbet

Our next pairing comes from Dobbins Creek Vineyards. We paired the Hemric Mountain Dry Rosé with a sorbet using rhubarb and gin from Copper Fox Distillery in Virginia. The tartness of the sorbet pairs well with the taste of cherries found on our taste buds. The Hemric Mountain Rosé is made with estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a hint of dry Riesling on the finish.

As for the sorbet, it was tart and sweet and paired beautifully with the flavors of cherry and strawberry found in the wine.

Jen gives this pairing a 10/10 while Dathan rated it a 9/10.

The Hemric Mountain Dry Rosé from Dobbins Creek retails for $18 and the recipe for the sorbet is found here.

Hanover Park Vineyards Pearl Rosé Wine.JPG

Hanover Park Vineyard Pearl Rosé paired with fresh blueberry with lemon balm sorbet

Our next pairing was Hanover Park Vineyard and its Pearl Rosé. We paired this wine with some grilled burgers and watermelon. The sorbet was a fresh blueberry with lemon balm from our herb garden. We added a splash of Raleigh Rum Company's Sweet Dark Rum.

The Pearl is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, while the rum is described as "sweet with a dark side." The pairing, just like most of the others, was great with the dryness of the wine and the tartness of the blueberries. 

Jen gives this pairing an 8/10, while Dathan rates it a 9/10.

The Pearl Rosé from Hanover Park Vineyard retails for $17 and the recipe for the sorbet is found here (without our rum modification).

McRitchie Winery Pale Rider Rosé Wine.JPG

McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks Pale Rider Rosé paired with Moonshine Lime Margarita sorbet.

Next on the list was McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks' Pale Rider Rosé teamed up with our homemade Moonshine Lime Margarita sorbet.This dry rosé has hints of tart cherries while featuring strawberry and tangerine notes on the nose. It paired well with the sweetness of the sorbet, yet made an interesting combination at the same time. This impromptu sorbet was made with Ole Smoky's Moonshine Lime Margarita, fresh limes and lime zest.

Jen gives this pairing an 8/10, while Dathan rates it a 9/10.

The Pale Rider Rosé from McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks retails for $17 and the recipe for the sorbet can be found here (without our modifications).

Adagio Vineyards Minuet Rosé Wine.jpg

Adagio Vineyards Minuet paired with fresh peach sorbet.

Our next rosé comes from Elkin's Adagio Vineyards. Last year, this wine came in first in our wine and swine combo, so we decided to put it back in the mix again for 2017. The 2014 Minuet teamed up with another homemade sorbet idea – a fresh peach sorbet made with vanilla and rum from Raleigh Rum Company.

The Minuet is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc with subtle tastes of pomegranate, cherries and berries on the finish. We had mixed feelings on this combo. Jen really liked this pairing, while Dathan wasn't sure of the tastes together.

The other negative was last year we actually had the 2015 vintage which had some effervescence – this 2014 had no "sparkle" at all. Still a good wine, but disappointing when you wanted some fizz.

Jen gives this pairing a 9/10 while Dathan rates it a 7/10.

Minuet from Adagio Vineyards retails for $18.

North Carolina Rosé Wines.jpg

Sanctuary Vineyards The Lightkeeper Rosé paired with a mixed berry sorbet.

We ended our Summer of Rosé and Sorbet with the Lightkeeper Rosé from Sanctuary Vineyards located in Jarvisburg. This rosé wine is of the sweeter variety as opposed to the others we tried which were drier.

This rosé, with flavors of strawberry, melon and sweet cherries, blends the muscadine juice to add additional sweetness. We paired this with a 4-berry sorbet.

The pairing balanced out the sweetness of the muscadine with the tartness of the berries very nicely. We typically steer towards drier wines but this combo was very pleasant as we begin to say goodbye to Summer.

Jen gives this pairing an 8/10, while Dathan also rates it an 8/10.

The Lightkeeper Rosé  from Sanctuary Vineyards retails for $15.

So that ends our second rosé series as we bid adieu to Summer 2017. We had a great time trying these different pairings and learned more along the way about the wines, the wineries, and how to pair the different sorbets. Until next summer when we do our third in our rosé series – whatever that will be!