You can’t drive more than 5 miles in California without encountering a Stella Rosa billboard (“It’s a Stellabration!”), and it’s safe to say that the brand has ample production to serve everyone who happens to drive past.
Stella Rosa’s bottlings range from traditional blends to various fruit-infused expressions. Many of its wines are very low in alcohol, too, with an abv as low as 5 percent. We recently received three Stella Rosa wines for review, and while they’re clad in paint and/or cardboard covers as part of a Halloween (er, Stellaween) promo, I am assured that the wines inside are every bit the same as you’ll get year-round.
Stella Rosa Peach – This lightly fizzy 5% alcohol-er has the distinct character of a wine cooler, for better or worse. While initially heavy with notes of canned peaches, it’s less sweet than I originally imagined, and the peach character does fade moderately on the palate, leaving behind the essence of a fizzy, honeyed muscat. While hardly “serious,” it’s not overwhelmingly off-putting and could work well as, say, the base of a punch. B- / $10 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
Stella Rosa Rose – Rose in name only, this moderately fizzy offering is heavy with strawberry flavors that come across as wildly artificial and a bit saccharine. Again, the sweetness fades with a bit of time, but the strawberry flavoring doesn’t, clinging for ages to the tongue. While the Peach is sippable, the Rose is a bit off-putting. 6.5% abv. D+ / $14 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
Stella Rosa Black – Part of the “Luxury Collection,” this is (again) a wine with some fizz to it, though it’s very light. Mystery red wine infused with blackberry and blueberry flavors, it lands between Peach and Rose on the sweetness meter. The deep purple color certainly looks the part, but the intense, lingering notes of fruit-flavored candy hang on for much too long. 5% abv. C- / $12[BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]