By Claudia Canavan Posted on June 19, 2015
The drink of summer 2015? It’s got to be pale pink Provence Rosé.
Not too sweet, easy-to-drink and a million miles away from cloying, dark varieties that gave the wine its (unfair) ‘not for proper drinkers’ image. And, with sales up 80 per cent in the UK from 2013, the secret of how drinkably delicious the stuff is has become common knowledge.
To make sure we’ve got the inside track on the trend of the moment, we’ve enlisted the help of Jeany Cronk, who along with her husband and children, upped and moved from London to the French region to make Mirabeau: their acclaimed collection of wine-buff fêted wines. (We know: the dream.)
Here’s her key pointers to get you sounding like an expert in no time.
‘I think people are really getting into Provence rosé because it’s not too sweet – there’s only two grams of sugar left once it’s been fermented. That’s about the same as coconut water. And it’s not a wine you have to learn loads about – it’s always dry and with fruity aromas followed by citrus notes. If you buy one in a good price bracket (between £8 – £15) then, like Champagne, you can be sure of about what you’re going to get in terms of quality.’
‘A lot of our customers buy magnums to take to dinner parties. Because it’s so versatile, and can go with dishes like chicken with lemon and oregano as well as Indian food and even sushi, it’s a great gift.’
‘When you’re tasting a good quality glass, first of all, you’ll probably smell summer fruits: perhaps raspberries and strawberries. Then fresh citrus scents. There shouldn’t be any burning alcohol sensation, and there should be a lovely, creamy finish.’
‘A lot of people serve rosé really, really cold. It’s actually better to let it come up to between eight and 10 degrees when it comes out of the fridge before drinking it, as that allows you to experience the aromas better. If you just let it have a couple of minutes in the glass after pouring it, it’ll be about right.’
‘Provence rosé is made entirely from red grapes. It differs to red wine because after the fruit is crushed, it is only left in contact with the skins for between two and 20 hours, whereas red wine is left a lot longer. That’s what results in the pale tone.’
‘Of course it’s a wonderful summer drink, and it conjures up thoughts of sitting outside in the warm weather on a weekend afternoon. But the French drink it all year round. It actually accounts for 30 per cent of all wine sold here, which is amazing considering that a few years ago they drank red almost exclusively. And here, there’s no negative connotations or snobbishness around it, everyone enjoys it.’