It should be said that rosé is a superb choice of wine all year round. These wines should never be relegated to just the warmer months, although without a doubt, they an obvious choice for summer. It does not just the evocativeness of a glass of rose, bringing forth great memories of summers past, or plans for the future. Rosé wines are incredibly versatile, both in occasion and in food matching. Plus, they are by nature, refreshing whether your preference is for dry, off dry or sweet. Not forgetting, of course, bubbles!
It is easy to see why they are so popular when they go so well with outdoor dining. Eating outdoors in the summer sunshine requires wines to be chilled, even lightly, to best at their best drinking. This makes rosé wine an excellent fit. Particularly, with their lighter fruit weight and flavours, neatly wrapped in crisp and refreshing acid.
Not that there isn’t a place for big, bold reds in the heat of summer. They are perhaps better left for cooler evenings. Being too warm means that the alcohol will seem much higher than it should and may well overwhelm the wines. And, quite quickly, the drinker.
Not all rosé wines are equal.
For a start the range of colours, from the delicate orange pinks to the light ruby hued, reflect not only the blossoms of late spring but the juicy and plump fruits of the season as well.
However, there is a rosé wine that will appeal to any wine drinker, except those who are obstinate in their choice. There are sweeter rosés that can be very appealing as an aperitif or with food that demands a sweeter, fruitier style of wine. There are many that are fruity and ripe and fall into that off-dry category. Often, you don’t notice the sugar sweetness because the wines are well balanced and finish crisp and dry.
Then, there are the wines that are fully dry with fruit and spice complexity. When they are well made, these wines have the texture that will simply glide across your tongue. These are the rosés made for savouring. They are versatile in both occasion, be it formal or casual, and how they work with food.
It goes without saying that lately, it there is always a rosé from the South of France on offer. The Southern coastal regions of France seem to have made it their goal to make the connection between pale dry rosé and summer. Considering how the mere mention of the Côte d’Azur brings to mind sunshine and warm sandy beaches, it is not hard to imagine why.
There is still plenty of choice from other regions around the world though. And plenty that have something unique to offer.
Here is a few to start you off with:
(please click through to full reviews to see what to drink these wines with and for much more information about the wines.
Mirabeau Pure is always a typical Grenache dominant blend, and this vintage is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault. It is a strawberry and almost dipping into tropical fruit profile. This is rolled up with some lush peach on the finish. It is dry, but it has plenty of ripe fruit amongst the savoury mineral palate. (UK £10 | AU $20 | USD$15++)
This is a ‘Southern France’ wine and labelled as ‘vin de France’. It is a dry rosé with about 4 grams of residual sugar to keep it balanced and to add a little to that fruit weight. It is creamy on the nose and in the mouth. That cream adds a roundness to the floral and strawberry notes. It is elegantly proportioned and has plenty going for it. (UK £9 | AU $25 | €13)
Spain makes some excellent rosado wines. This is a typical rosado Rioja blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo with some Viura added. Viura is Rioja’s premiere white grape. The wine is more delicate in colour and tastes like fresh strawberries and cream with some spice. It is dry, medium bodied and has a fresh line of acid. When all this combined with that silkiness it is a rather irresistible drop.
The Moon Shell Moth Rosé is no exception to the ‘left field’ rule. It is a blend of Hawkes Bay Merlot, Pinotage and Arneis. The result is a particularly fragrant rosé with the evocative scent of flowers and ripe peach and berries. It is silky and smooth under an ever so light grip of tannins. It is richer in body but there is no getting away from that very intense fruitiness. (UK £11 | NZ$18)
The ‘Rose of Virginia’ is a rosé with a rich depth of colour and even though this wine has some residual sugar to balance the fruit on this beauty, this is still a dry style rosé full of flavour and texture. With perfumed and spicy raspberry and cherry fruit, it takes on an almost citrus appeal in its intensity. It is fuller in body as you might expect from the colour but the texture is very refreshing and moreish.
And click here for some South of France rosé that you might also enjoy!
(visit CharlesMeltonwines.com.au for prices)