As the summer draws to a close, it signifies the end to another type of season – the season of the rosé wine. Or does it? Of course, no one can dictate to you when you should be drinking the stuff, but for some reason it’s become synonymous with the summer in a way that white wine isn’t, and drinking rosé during the autumn and winter months feels very much like eating Matchmakers in the middle of June – as delicious as they are it’s just not the done thing.
So how can you see out rosé season in style? Drink something so pink it will turn your tongue a delightful shade of fuchsia? Perhaps not, but if that’s your thing then go right ahead. Here are a few suggestions that you might want to stock up on to keep you going until it’s time to switch on the central heating…
Pale and Interesting
Not an ‘official’ category by any means but a term I use to describe those rosés that usually hail from certain parts of the South of France and are made with a combination of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. Grenache rosés can be quite bright in colour but a lot of these, particularly those that come from Provence, are very pale with floral and strawberry flavours.
Other pale and interesting rosés include Sancerre Rosé, made from Pinot Noir grapes. As with most wines that have ‘Sancerre’ on the label, these are not the cheapest rosés on offer, but the elegant and complex style is a price worth paying.
Not that Provence and Sancerre rosés aren’t classic French, but when I think of typical French rosés, I tend to think of ones that are a bit richer in colour, something like a Tavel Rosé which has its very own appellation in the Southern Rhone. The Tavel Les Eglantiers is a fine example of a top quality rosé which gets that fine balance between fruit and acidity just right, with crunchy fresh raspberry and redcurrant flavours and a dry finish – the perfect accompaniment to richer seafood dishes.
Many people love a sweeter style of rosé and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, a large part of the US wine industry owes its existence to it thanks to the continuing public devotion to White Zinfandel (which is actually very pink and not white in the slightest). But how about lots of ripe, creamy fruit without the sweetness, such as the Domaine Saint-Lannes Les Coquelicots Rosé? Try it, you just might like it!
Who doesn’t love a bit of pink fizz? Our budgets may not stretch to pink Champagne for much of the time, but there are still plenty of great value alternatives if you think an occasion calls for some rosé bubbles, and where there’s sparkling wine production you’ll often find a pink fizz of some description. And where better to head than the Veneto region in northern Italy – home to Prosecco, it also does a rather good line in sparkling rosés such as this Punto Rosa Pinot Grigio-Pinot Noir blend.
So prolong that summer feeling and get the rosé in while you’re still in the mood for the pink stuff, because we’re betting your taste buds will start craving a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon or luscious Pinot Noir very soon.
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