Nothing says summer quite like a crisp cold glass of rosé! If you’re at a loss of which you might prefer, Matt Dicks, WSET qualified Beers, Wines and Spirits Specialist for Waitrose, has selected a few of his favourites..
A some point during your life the chances that you’ve owned something pink are probably high. Maybe it’s a cup and saucer or possibly some bed linen, or even a shirt to wear on an evening out. My grandparents even had a thick pile pink carpet in their lounge, the wearing of shoes was strictly forbidden, although this rule quickly goes out the window when you’re a toddler. Whatever tickles us pink, us Brits have a fondness with this colour. It even comes in a variety of shades too, many with interesting names such as Blood Orange, Fuchsia and Berry Sauce. Forget 50 Shades of Grey, the spotlight has turned to a different colour!
Pink is also a popular colour when it comes to wine, although for some reason we opt for the French word rosé. We don’t call wine colours by other French names, such as rouge (red) or blanc (white) so why rosé? Regardless, when we go on holiday and head for beaches which top the sunshine league table, a glass of rosé is the perfect tipple to help us relax and enjoy the good life.
In the past some rosé wines may had a bad reputation for being overly sweet, often associated with countries such as Portugal and California, but the limelight is now on the modern, fresh and fruity wines redolent of summer fruits, with the sun-kissed French region of Provence fielding some of the most impressive examples.
In order to understand how rosé wines come about being rosé in colour, we have to dispel a common belief that most are not produced by simply adding red wine to white. The only wine that permits this method is rosé champagne. Most still rosé wines are made directly from black grapes by removing the fermenting grape juice from the skins after a short period of maceration. Only a small amount of colour is extracted from the skins, giving the wines a pink tinge. The deeper the colour, the longer the maceration.
Another benefit that rosé also possesses is its ability to be the perfect partner for a wide range of food and cuisines, from duck and game to Chinese food and cold roast chicken. Rosé has more uses than a Swiss Army knife! Pair at your pleasure during all four seasons.
Here’s a selection of my favourite rosé’s to sip and savour during the summer.
This rosé Champagne, with its distinctive stout bottle is one of my all time favourite fizzes. Using only Pinot Noir from grand cru villages (the best villages), it has delicious raspberry and redcurrant fruit flavours with a subtle brioche finish. Pair with seafood, dark chocolate desserts, raspberry sorbet or sip whilst enjoying the sun.
This berry scented delight is a wonderful blend of Pinot Noir, Garnacha and Chardonnay. With a hint of sweetness, it’s designed to be poured over ice, as the name suggests. Garnish with fresh raspberries, sliced strawberries and a sprig of mint.
Pure is a wonderful premium cuvée from innovative producer Mirabeau. Boasting purity and delicacy, with fresh berry fruit and blossom aromas. Showing enticing raspberry and red cherry on the palate with a sprinkle of Provençal herbs, it’s best enjoyed as an aperitif or with charcuterie and olives.
This fruity, strawberry flavoured rosé combines the characteristics of two popular Southern French varieties; Grenache and Syrah, with a little Mourvèdre and Merlot. Produced by British couple Ruth and Charles Simpson, who combine traditional winemaking with modern flair, this sumptuous can be paired with most foods.
This stunning example combines everything that we love about Sauvignon Blanc with the elegance of rosé. Oozing with notes of grapefruit, freshly cut herbs and lime zest, enjoy on its own as an aperitif or drink alongside sushi, or with tomato based dishes.
This delicious and delicate rosé is based on the popular Pinot Noir grape. Overflowing with aromas of juicy strawberries with hints of watermelon and grapefruit, it’s simply crying out for some grilled tuna steak from your local fishmonger.
For more wine tips follow Matt on Twitter @vinopatrol