Whilst looking out at a grey and miserable August afternoon, nothing could bring more joy than the idea of quaffing a chilled rosé at a picnic or BBQ – it really does take some beating on a warm and light summer evenings.
If there is anything that the recently exploding Brosé phenomenon has taught us, it’s that pink is most certainly not just for girls. Rosé has reached full bloom; gone are the days when the pink stuff was unanimously thought of as sugar sweet, the stigma has dropped and with consumption dramatically on the rise its various styles being lapped up by all and sundry.
For those who are yet to have your rosé epiphany, or if you have but simply can’t get enough of the stuff, here’s a helpful guide to some of the more common varieties and what you can expect to taste – from manly and sophisticated to light and fruity. Male or female, it’s never too late to join the rosé movement…
Provence – The king of rosé wines
The facts: Made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre in Côtes de Provence. Wine has been made here for over 2600 years, making Provence the oldest wine producing region of France.
How does it taste? Dry and fruity with often a distinct minerality at the finish.
Tavel – The manliest rosé
The facts: Produced in the Côtes de Rhone primarily with Grenache and Cinsault but nine varieties are allowed in the blend. Reportedly a favourite of Ernest Hemingway.
How does it taste? Savoury, dry and rich.
Navarra – Spain’s lesser known gem
The facts: Wedged between Rioja and France – these guys really know to make wine and their Rosado is the area’s most famous export. Dark pink or salmon in colour and often made from 100% Garnacha (AKA: Grenache). Similar in style – it’s worth noting a rosé Rioja (made with both Grenache and Tempranillio grapes) can also really come up trumps despite it hiding in the shadow of their better known reds.
How does it taste? Crisp, fruity and laced with minerals.
White Zinfandel – The sweeter American
The facts: High residual sugar give these wines their distinctive (and very popular if volume of consumption is to be believed) off-dry character. Synonymous with California sunshine.
How does it taste? Sweet like strawberries and cotton candy.
When choosing a rosé wine, it helps to look at what grapes were used in the wine as that will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of flavour and sweetness…
Traditionally dry rosé wines:
Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Pinot Noir
Traditionally sweet rosé wines:
White Zinfandel, White Merlot, Pink Moscato
Remember, the younger the vintage the fresher and more delicious it will taste. Unlike its red counterparts this is not an investment wine to keep in the cellar for a special occasion (or not, as so often the case may be) so crack open that bottle and now and see what all the fuss is about.