Despite its breezy appeal, rosé can be a vexing vino. I love it on holiday, but back home it can be hard to tell how sweet, fruity, zingy or intense a bottle is before you buy.
More troubling is the variable quality. But this year I’ve been impressed by the rosé on the high street – so it’s a great time to look beyond the usual sweet, popular brands. And in 2013, rosé needn’t dent your wallet.
Generally, the paler the rosé, the more nimble and refreshing – ideal for aperitifs on a sunny day or with a fresh platter of shellfish.
Darker rosés tend to be bolder and richer.
Such butch fruit flourishes with muscular barbecued dishes, smoky bangers or charry chicken.
Colour comes from red grape skins – the longer the juice soaks with the skins, the deeper the hue.
However, some rosé Champagnes, such as the excellent Bollinger Rosé NV, are still made by blending red and white wines together.
Fruitier, sweeter styles are usually labelled Blush or White Zinfandel, with many hailing from the States – in particular, California.
Personally, I prefer crisp, dry rosé, so I hunt for paler bottles from Provence.
For everyday drinking this summer, the south of France has been rocking my boat with a wealth of sexy, pink, juicy rosés.
Mirabeau Rosé is intensely fruity and enthrallingly bright. Delicate, classy and perfect pared with shellfish.