I'm a Sommelier — Here's What I Think About the Spicy Rosé Trend

Is fresh jalapeño in rosé wine the new spicy margarita?

A glass of rosé wine with two slices of fresh jalapeño pepper floating in it.
Photo: Allrecipes/Devon O'Brien

For some, summer officially starts when school ends, the pool opens, the tomatoes are juicy, the zucchini is the size of baseball bats, and the cucumbers need pickling. But for me, summer begins when the wine shops start stocking rosé. As a trained sommelier that's been serving and writing about wine for 15 years, there's nothing that brings me more joy than pouring that first glass of cool pink wine on the first hot day.

And speaking of hot, when I first heard about the spicy rosé trend, I thought, "no way!" Why would I ever want to taint my lovely glass of wine with a hot pepper? Wouldn't that ruin the flavor of the wine that the winemaker worked so hard to finesse?

What is Spicy Rose?

The spicy rosé trend, like many other viral food trends these days, emerged from a Tiktok video from @allyssainthekitchen. Allyssa casually pours her wine, adds a jalapeño slice and takes swig in the short clip. Since Allyssa is known for adding jalapeños to everything, when the dare to add a jalapeño to a glass of rosé came from a follower, she happily obliged. Now she says it's the only way she'll drink rosé — so I had to try it for myself.

How to Make Spicy Rosé

The tasting began with a jalapeño plucked from my garden and a bottle of Maz Caz, my favorite French rosé from my friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American female winemaker in Bordeaux. Other than picking a less-fruity rosé, I followed Allyssa's recipe — a decent pour of wine plus a jalapeño slice followed by a hefty swig — and tried to keep my mind open.

Is Spicy Rosé Good?

I was pleasantly surprised. The jalapeño flavor was mild and it didn't lend a ton of heat, so it honestly just felt like drinking wine with food that I had accidentally dropped into my glass but was too lazy to fish out. I then let the wine sit for 30 minutes, aka let the jalapeño macerate in the rosé and took another swig. This was a different experience as the jalapeño flavor — and heat — became prominent. Not in a "this is too spicy, I can't drink it" way but more like in a "pass the chips and guacamole" way. The heat from the pepper tamped down the fruit flavor while adding an herbaceous touch that made me want to eat something salty.

I then added some ice cubes and found myself sipping the rest of the glass happily. The wine continued to get spicier and I didn't mind it at all. Don't tell my sommelier friends but this spicy wine cocktail just might be the hottest drink of summer.

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