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I Tried 9 Affordable Rosés & the Best One Tasted Expensive

Summer is the season for crisp, refreshing pink wines and you'll find plenty to like, even at low prices.

Just as Memorial Day weekend kicks off grilling season, it's also the unofficial start of rosé season. The pink-tinted wine has definitely become synonymous with warmer days and patio drinking. In recent years, it's become an extremely popular choice among wine drinkers—and for good reason. You can often get a great bottle of rosé for under $20.

Like any wine, the type of grape and where it's grown can dictate the beverage's color, flavor profile, and body. There are so many choices out there; if you don't know what to buy, you may end up with a dud, even if you didn't shell out a lot of cash.

I recently taste-tested an array of rosés, all commonly found at Costco and other grocery stores and all costing less than $20 per bottle. I tried to select bottles representing a variety of different regions and at different price points under the $20 mark. To be clear, I am not a sommelier, and wine taste preferences are subjective, so keep that in mind as you review the following rankings.

Here's what I thought about these nine bottles, ranked from my least favorite to the absolute best.

1442 Rosé Vin De Provence

A bottle of 1442 Rosé Vin De Provence next to a glass of the pink-tinted wine.
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

This 91-point pick by renowned wine critic James Suckling doesn't exactly live up to its description of red berry fruit and endless flower fields, unfortunately. Rosé is not a wine that should necessarily have bold flavors, but this had pretty much no flavor. I'd recommend skipping. Yes, even for a $13.89 price point and even with organic grapes.

The look: This wine is a salmon-colored hue.

The taste: Almost like water. I kept sipping to try and uncover the promised flavors but unfortunately they weren't there. It's easy to drink because it goes down super easy, but it really lacks flavor almost completely.

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Saint Roch Old Vine Rosé

A bottle of Saint Roch Old Vine Rose next to a glass of the pink-tinted wine
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

This Costco buy had promise. It was one of the coolest-looking bottles, but unfortunately, it didn't hold up when it came to flavor. With so many inexpensive options out there—and better-tasting options at that—this $14.99 bottle is a skip for me.

The look: A pale watermelon color.

The taste: This was one of the sweeter rosés I tasted and it was certainly not a fan favorite among my fellow testers. Even though it wasn't meant to be bubbly, it almost had a flat taste to it with a slight aftertaste.

Cote des Roses

A bottle of Cote de Roses next to a glass of the pink-tinted wine.
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

You can find this rosé for as low as $9.99, if you really try, but at my local Costco, it was $12.99. A very sleek and simple bottle with a cool rose design. This would be perfect for someone who just wants a decent glass but doesn't care much beyond that.

The look: Very pale pink. It doesn't have much to the looks of it.

The taste: The taste was nice and light, a bit on the drier side. It's not overly nuanced but certainly a bottle that's easy to drink in the summer without any bold character. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, either.

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Kirkland Signature Cotes de Provence

A bottle Kirkland Signature Cotes de Provence next to a glass of the pink-tinted wine.
Photo: Samatha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

My experience with Costco wines in the past has been hit or miss, but I have to say this $7.99 rosé was a hit for the price point. It was the least expensive wine I tried and although it wasn't in the top echelon, it certainly beat out some of the more expensive selections.

The look: This wine is very pale pink in color.

The taste: It needs a minute to open up to really be able to taste the wine and not just a strong alcohol finish. Once it does, it is nicely balanced, not overly sweet, and an easy drinker. I'd let it sit for a minute or two while you get out your snacks and then start sipping for a pretty decent bottle that's under $10.

Marques de Cacares Rioja

a bottle and glass of marques de caceres rose on an outdoor table
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

You've likely seen the Marques de Cacares brand at Trader Joe's and other national grocery stores. The label is a popular option for inexpensive wines from Spain's famed Rioja region, including this rosé, which I found for $10.99 at the grocery store.

The look: A peachy colored hue.

The taste: Very light but not lacking body and a little on the drier side. This was a nice departure from some of the other wines that come from France as this is made with tempranillo grapes. I could see grabbing this bottle for the patio when I want to mix things up.

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Hampton Water Rosé

A bottle of Hampton Water next to a glass of the pink-colored wine.
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

This wine from rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse is no "runaway" hit, but it is a good, readily available bottle to pick up. You'll find it for around $17.99 at various grocery stores, liquor stores, and also at Costco. Interestingly enough this wine, a grenache blend, is made by winemaker Gerard Bertrand, the same winemaker as the Cote de Roses. I am also a fan of the glass topper that makes it easy to reseal the wine.

The look: A nice pale salmon color.

The taste: Acidic on the front end but it softens on the back end. It's got good minerality, and it's easy to drink. I wasn't wowed away by any striking flavors but it's good.

The Beach by Whispering Angel

a bottle and glass of the beach rose wine
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

This wine launched two years ago as a spin-off of the wildly popular Whispering Angel label. Also hailing from the Provence region of France, this one seems to be more of a starter wine, but the price point is sometimes higher than its better-known sibling. I found it for $18.99. I'm also a big fan of it's fun screw top bottle.

The look: A very light salmon color.

The taste: Hints of stone fruit (think peach) with high acidity. It's a little tart but in a good way. I think this wine would actually be good on the beach or during a really hot day.

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Malene Rosé 2023

A bottle of Malene Rose 2023 next to a glass of the pink-colored wine.
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

This wine hails from San Luis Obispo, along California's central coast. I grabbed the bottle at Costco for $14.99. Other stores may charge over $20, so it's truly a steal at the warehouse club. This wine is sustainably produced.

The look: Light pink in color.

The taste: I was impressed by this bottle with its strong flavors of peach on the front end and almost a soft vanilla taste on the back end. It's less acidic than other varietals but I really liked it. I could see it complimenting food well.

Whispering Angel 2023

a bottle and glass of whispering angel rose on an outdoor table
Photo: Samantha Lande. Design: Eat This, Not That!

Whispering Angel is one of those popular bottles of wine you could grab and feel pretty confident that someone in the room will say, "I love Whispering Angel." It's a Cotes de Provence wine that seems to have figured out the magical formula of being a summer sipper that has real depth to it. I grabbed the bottle for $18.99 but it's often on sale throughout the summer.

The look: A pale salmon color.

The taste: Definite notes of strawberry and other berries, a touch of peach, and a little acidity. This is the one wine where the flavors shined through the most. It certainly tastes like a more expensive bottle and deserves the winning spot. It's a bottle that I buy, and will continue to do so, over and over again.

Samantha Lande
Samantha is a freelance writer who covers food, health, wellness and other lifestyle subjects. Read more about Samantha