If there’s a wine I think that we can all recognise as a vastly different style to what was being drunk 20 years ago there are two options that come to mind. Chardonnay is one, but much more importantly there is rosé! There has been a revolution of sorts with this wine category. We now see beautiful, lightly coloured, perfumed wines, as opposed to thick, dark and sweet options like Mateus Rosé that we used to drink in the 80's. I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this modern style is a much better way forward!
Now of course, there are plenty of wines available, all with their own significant
differences, some work brilliantly with food, some are much better suited to stand alone drinking on a hot summers day. But what’s the best way to differentiate these wines, and how do we tell which ones are the best for the purpose at hand? A good place to start is region, and grape variety. Provence is the most popular and most recognisable 'brand' on the pink wine market today, and reason why is that they offer the perfect wine for sipping and enjoying with light food such as seafood, salad’s, and charcuterie. This is due to the very light styling, and minimal skin contact with grape varieties such as Grenache and Cinsault.
If we move across to Europe into Italy then Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) is a grape often used for rosé production, these wines tend to have light strawberry, raspberry and sour cherry flavours, and pair nicely with duck and barbeque foods. Pink fizz made from from Pinot Nero is also delightful!
If we want something with a bit more punch than a Provence style blush then rosé made from grapes such as Mourvèdre or Sangiovese are usually a bit darker in colour. You mustn’t let colour put you off though...More skin contact and colour usually means more depth of flavour and texture. It also means that they will pair much better with food including meat, cheese, and tomato-based sauce dishes. Spain, Italy and South Africa are making some superb pinks with depth and complexity.
Austria and Romania are also making great rosé these days, and of course we mustn't forget England! We even have a wonderful rosé made from grapes grown in St Albans: Wimbushes Vineyard in Chiswell Green make a Rondo Rosé, perfect for summer drinks.
What I’m trying to get at here is that rosé is capable of so much more than we recognise, we don’t need to default to the usual red wine with meat and white wine with fish. Rosé doesn't have to be an after thought - it can be a primary focus of a meal, and is well worth exploring!
Join us on the 26th of June for our first in-person tasting - a rosé festival. We will have over 40 different styles of pink still and sparkling wine from around the world available to taste and discover. See link to tickets below:
Rosé Festival 2021 Tickets Session One 2-4pm, Session Two 4-6pm
Max is our star wine advisor who has just graduated from Plumpton Wine College with a degree in the business of wine. We are very proud to have Max as part of our team here at Cellar Door Wines. Penny Edwards -June 2021