Although sweet rosés have their fans, good dry rosés tend to be more complex and food-friendly. The most famous dry rosés are from southern France, but many other regions and countries are producing very enjoyable rosés, too.
Dry = not sweet. And that’s what you want: a wine that’s fresh and acidic, without extra sugar to bury its mineral/fruity/whatever flavors and aromas. Remember, it was super-sweet white zinfandel and its mass-produced brethren that gave rosé a bad name to begin with.
Since so many different kinds of rosé are being made all over the world, the dry vs. sweet question matters a lot more than a wine’s country of origin. But, if you’re feeling totally bewildered at the wine store, here’s a general rule of thumb:
OLD WORLD ROSÉ (Europe) = IT WILL USUALLY BE MORE DRY
NEW WORLD ROSÉ (everywhere else) = IT MIGHT BE LESS DRY
There are tons of exceptions to this (some California rosés can be super-subtle and bone-dry; some European wines have higher sugar levels), but it can be a helpful way to narrow down your options at the wine store if you’re feeling overwhelmed.