After a minor blip in the weather recently the sun is set to shine once again this weekend with temps reaching a lofty 22-23 degrees; this can mean only one thing… time to break out the rosé!
Rosé wine has enjoyed impressive success in recent years, helped partly by much better winemaking, & some might say by the changing climate, with warmer days providing us more opportunities for sipping from a glass filled with chilled rosé (not that we need an excuse).
The profile & style of rosé wines has also changed dramatically too, with the trend now being towards drier-tasting wines which are (generally speaking) better suited to go with food.
The fact that they work so well with the eclectic cuisine we enjoy in the UK has won them a strong following throughout the entire year & our love of rosé is no longer confined to a quick summer holiday romance in some far flung place.
Getting the pink in…
Rosé wines come in every shade of pink imaginable from almost white to practically red. In Champagne, rosé, which is a relatively recent innovation can be made by blending a little red wine with some white wine.
This method of producing pink wine is the exception & good quality rosés are made by leaching just enough colour from the red grape skins to produce the desired colour (grape juice from both red & white grapes is clear in colour).
There are two methods used for this. The more traditional technique is by a short maceration once the grapes have been crushed, maybe a day or two before the skins are separated from the wine.
For the second method, tanks of lightly crushed grapes are “bled” (saignée in French) after a day & the free-run juice produces the rosé wine.
A chilled glass (or three) of rosé is obviously delicious on its own, this goes without saying, but many are better still with food; working well with fish, grilled meats or vegetables (did someone say BBQ?) They are fearless in the face of tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, chilli…
Just off-dry rosés are remarkably good with mild-medium spicy cooking & sweeter wines can partner pastries & fruit tarts as well.
Where are rosés made?
Rosé wines can be made anywhere that red grapes are grown & with each year the range seems to be getting wider. There are now delicious rosés coming from as far apart as California & South Africa, but the spiritual home of this style remains around the Mediterranean where rosé wines were originally made to compensate for the lack of whites.
Anyway, enough of the background waffle, let’s get to the juice! Here are some of our current favourites, with a focus on the Med & in particular Provence…
Chateau d’Esclans ‘Whispering Angel’ / France / Provence / £21.99
Possibly the most famous rosé in the world! Not tried it… What are you waiting for?
Chateau d’Esclans ‘Rock Angel’ / France / Provence / £29.99
The bigger sibling to the famous Whispering Angel with a little more depth, complexity & body whilst retaining that quintessential Provence style.
Chateau Sainte Marguerite ‘Symphonie’ / France / Provence / £26.99 / Organic
One of the ultimate expressions of this famous regions rosé wines. Finesse, elegance & pure aromatic pleasure! Certified organic.
Chateau Sainte Beaulieu ‘Cuvee Alexandre’ / France / Provence / £17.99
Well balanced with an elegant red fruit palate & refreshing length.
Domaine Teisseire Coteaux-Varois en Provence / France / Provence / £12.99
A well textured, aromatic & full flavoured rose. Light body & a juicy, long finish of berry & citrus fruits.
Chateau de l’Aumerade ‘Cuvee Henri Fabre’ / France / Provence / £13.99
Refreshingly fruity & floral bouquet with delicate strawberry flavours on the palate. A new addition to range.
Domaine Lafage ‘Miraflors’ / France / Languedoc-Roussilon / £14.99
Juicy, with pure strawberry, citrus & orange peel flavours. The wine has a distinct minerality, with a deliciously fresh finish.
Domaine Laroche ‘Rosé de la Chevaliere’ / France / Languedoc-Roussilon / £14.99 / Organic
Ripe berry aromas on the nose. Delicate fruitiness on the palate, lively & juicy, refreshing finish. Certified Organic.
Kayra ‘Beyaz Kalecik Karasi Rosé’ / Turkey / Denezli / £15.99
Palest pink with delicate floral notes, citrus & vibrant red fruits. The palate echoes the nose with strawberry & raspberry notes dominating.
Torres ‘Natureo’ Non Alcoholic Rosé/ Spain / Catalunya / £7.99
NON ALCOHOLIC & less than half the calories of a normal wine. For those who want to enjoy the flavour of wine without the alcohol!