The summer sun can only mean one thing, it’s time for Brosé. No longer is rosé a drink for your date (or your mother), it’s been the coolest drink of the summer for several seasons now. But what is it that makes rosé such a gentleman-ly choice these days?
Firstly, it’s a crowd-pleaser. It’s hard to find someone who isn’t partial to a sip of the pink stuff – so ordering a bottle, or several, for the table will usually be met with broad grins and general agreement.
Secondly, the variety is exceptional. Rosés range from the thirst-quenching to those worthy of great food-pairings. Many rosés are made in a dry style (so no residual sugar) and plenty have the finesse of a fine white with the fruity fun that keeps them sippable all afternoon long.
Whilst there is a trend to drink rosés as pale as possible the educated wine drinker shouldn’t be using lack of colour as a barometer for quality. Colour in rosé comes from the skins of the grapes and has nothing to do with sugar, so sip those lighter thirst-quenching Provence styles in the sunshine but scale up to the deeper roses for a far most sophisticated accompaniment with meat. (The French do it, so should we!)
But which bottles of pink should you be drinking this summer? Here are seven of our favourites:
Rock Angel, Côtes De Provence, France
Rock Angel is the formidable cousin of the ever-popular Whispering Angel and is an exciting wine to pair with food as it is a little more substantial. This should be up there on your summer hit list. The slight touch of smoke would work beautifully with chargrilled artichokes or courgette straight off the BBQ.
Château de Pibarnon, Bandol, France
Bandol is a small appellation in Provence famed for making slightly deeper and far more food-friendly rosés. This organic rosé truly represents the crème de la crème of the region and displays luscious fruits and even a touch of liquorice from the 65% Mouvèdre grape in the blend. Pair with a blue cheese for a truly exciting match.
The Ned Rosé, New Zealand
Why not mix up the French-trend and try this crisp-edged Pinot Noir rosé from Malborough in New Zealand. Light and delicious with enough grip to have alongside food, this could be your summer ‘all-rounder’ and for a fantastically affordable price.
MiP (Made in Provence), Côtes De Provence, France
It can’t get more Provencial than a wine that whole-heartedly embodies the region and even takes its name from it. This rosé epitomises summer sunshine drinking with lovely peach and floral notes and light crisp acidity. It’s impossible to put down.
Louis Jadot Macon Rose, Burgundy, France
Another wine that’s going to be a hit at a BBQ. Slightly deeper in colour and made with the Gamay grape (the grape that goes into Beaujolais), this wine could be a delicious accompaniment
Mas de Cadenet Sainte Victoire, Côtes de Provence, France
From an area considered to be a Provence gold-mine, this is a wine that exudes elegance and will keep both the wine-aficionados and the less knowledgeable drinkers in heaven. The magnums are impressive with sleek design and well-worth upgrading to for the lingering lunch party.
Rosa dei Masi della Venezie, Italy
This could be seen as an Italian rosé masquerading as one from the South of France in spite of its unusual method of production. Half of the grapes are slightly dried for 20 days or ‘appassimento’ as it’s known in Italy before macerating it in the style of the favourite French. This may be the only ‘appassimento’ rosé in the world but bursts with lemon, grapefruit and peach making it an instant summer hit.