Oh my, do we have the pick of the pinks! From France alone, there’s true diversity in rosé: pale, bone-dry, citrus-laced Provençals; strawberry-strewn Bordeaux merlot rosés; richer and lightly peppered Rhones; sweeter Rhones…
Spanish rosado delivers a refreshing, red cherry-drop tang, especially those from the Rioja and Navarra regions, while Turkish, Greek, Italian and Portuguese rosés are well worth a try.
The New World cranks up a brightly fruity, lip-smacking appeal – do try New Zealand’s versions (but steer clear of over-confected Californians).
Despite the variety, all rosés should be treated the same way:
- First, buy a young wine. It soon loses its fresh aroma and crisp tang; aim for a 2015 or 2016 at the moment.
- And because of its delicacy, buy pink to drink within a few weeks.
- Keep in the fridge after opening for a couple of days max.
- Enjoy it cool (about 6C), not ice-cold, which masks the subtle flavours.
And do pair rosé with food. You rarely see the French or Spanish sipping it without a bite to eat. White fish, prawns and shellfish are clearly a hit, and paella with rosado is a classic match.
But also partner pink wine, too, with cold and cured meats, spring vegetable risottos, tomato couscous, grain-based salads, sushi or black olives and tapenade. That’s for the drier wines, of course; with a medium-sweet rosé, make it a fresh fruit salad topped with a swirl of cream.
Exquisite Collection Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016, France
The brand new 2016 is great value, dry and packed with raspberry flavour, in an elegant tall, traditional Provençal bottle.
Beronia Tempranillo Rosado 2015, Rioja, Spain
Not the cheapest, but one of the best Spanish rosados, fairly rich and soft, so full enough for a plate of ham, chorizo and salami.
The Ned Pinot Noir Rosé 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand
A lively, sunny pinot rosé, singing with fresh strawberries and juicy watermelon, nearly dry and seafood-friendly.
Coquille d'Oc Rosé 2016, Domaine de Sainte Rose, Sud de France
Citrus fruit and red berries mingle in this perky pink. Refreshing aperitif style.
Le Froglet Rosé 2016, France
Simple but appealing, on the crisp and slightly tart side with a cranberry tang. A decent picnic rosé.