There was a short time in my adult life when the mere mention of “pink wine” produced wrinkled noses and piteous stares from my sophisticated friends. A glass of white zinfandel rendered the drinker not only cheap, but also destined for a hangover.
With the rise of Instagram came America’s widespread introduction to a proper rosé. Yes, it was pink, but it could also be dry and delightfully sessionable. Plus, it was attractive and French—like Brigitte Bardot or an Hermès bag.
By 2013, American millennials had developed an unquenchable thirst for rosé.
My yearning for rosé continues to correspond directly to the temperature. When the weather gets warm, I want crisp pink wine, light salads, and fresh seafood. Mesmerizing instagram shots are also a must. Worcester has plenty of spots for sunny day sipping, snacking, and snapping. Here are a few of my favorites.
Bocado Tapas Wine Bar
Pairing: Bocado offers a wide selection of “light reds” or rosados from Spain and Portugal. Pair with tapas frias like the gazpacho or the ensalada de madalena, made with chopped lettuce, red onion, hearts of palm, tomato, avocado, and manchego.
For the Gram: Bocado is located just up the block from one of Worcester’s ghostly manufacturing murals. This hand-painted advertisement for Heywood Boot and Shoe Company features a faded red heart. Murals by street artists Adam Fu and Earth Crusher are also within walking distance, located at the rear of the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center.
The Sole Proprietor
Pairing: The Sole’s selection of rosé sparkles all summer long. Pair with a Buster Roll made with blue crab, apple, avocado, and cucumber then topped with crisp smoked salmon.
For the Gram: Buster the giant inflatable crab was conceived more than 25 years ago when The Sole Proprietor closed for a week’s worth of renovations. Owners knew they would need a boost to make up for the dip in sales. Buster still brings in the crowds year in and year out. Just a short walk from the Sole, you’ll also find the iconic iron bridge at Elm Park and more than a dozen striking Pow! Wow! Worcester murals at Elm Park Community School.
North Main Provisions
Pairing: North Main Provisions offers the makings of a perfect picnic. Ask owners Nate Rossi and Alexis Kelleher to help you pair a bottle of rosé with just the right artisanal cheese. Pick up a loaf of naturally leavened bread next door at their flagship establishment, Crust Bakery.
For the Gram: Take your picnic haul up the hill to Bancroft Tower, Worcester’s breathtaking feudal castle and have at it.
Pairing: Lock 50 has hosted entire evenings dedicated to rosé. As such, the staff is exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to thinking pink. Pair with the chilled Spanish octopus served with salsa verde and Aleppo pepper.
For the Gram: In many ways, Lock 50 has succeeded in becoming the most Instagrammable restaurant in the city. Aside from the eye catching igloos, Lock 50 is home to a special mural painted by esteemed Native American artist Spencer Keeton Cunningham. Owners are opening a new restaurant called Russo across the street with a camera-ready cave room this spring.
Pairing: deadhorse hill has the strongest natural wine program in the city on account of manager, Julia Auger. Her intimate relationship with winemakers from around the world distinguishes deadhorse’s rotating wine list. Visit with a partner or pal on a Tuesday or Wednesday to enjoy their $45 date night experience.
For the Gram: Just a few paces from deadhorse’s front door, you’ll find stunning murals by artists Arlin Graff and O.G. Slick on the Palladium Theater. Owners opened an equally vibrant Korean-American eatery on Shrewsbury Street called simjang, which features another of Graff’s mesmerizing works.