Since I can remember Rosés have occupied the fun aperitif/pub by the river/swimming pool wine or perfect BBQ beverage slot, but only very few people have considered them with nicer foods or ordered a bottle at a restaurant. The reasons for this are many fold, not least the fact that quality hasn’t always been paramount in Rosé production, peoples’ long-standing drinking habits that don’t change easily and the fact that some Rosé styles just don’t lend themselves to gastronomic foods.
Yet recently dry Rosés, especially those from around here in Provence, are often cited as good food wines and the high quality brands have all the structure and length to stand up to flavoursome cuisine and complement nice dishes perfectly. What’s interesting is that while Provence Rosé is not sweet (in fact it’s bone dry with often less than 1g of sugar/l) it has the fruit aromas that many of us are appreciating in red wines, yet often a red wine is not what we crave with lighter types and ethnic cuisine. Enter rosé as the perfect alternative, giving you the cool and refreshing qualities of a white but with the juicy red fruit aromas you enjoy from a red.
Here are some interesting quotes from somms on the subject:
“I was thrilled to see how versatile Provençal wines were on the table with the wide array of dishes we tried (…) From sweet to savory and even spicy, the wines of Provence were a treat with everything.”
Master Sommelier Andy Myers
“Everyone wants quality wine to have a story behind it and between the diversity of soil, the history of wine throughout Provence and the versatility with food pairing, these are wines that deserve a place on the dining room table, retail shelves and magazine articles.” Master Sommelier Michael Meagher
Rosé is also hugely versatile and bridges many peoples’ innate preferences: Victoria who works at the Mirabeau showroom always says that it’s the red drinkers white and the white drinkers red, so you can’t really go wrong ordering a bottle. It’s also worth noting that many people who say they hate Rosé often haven’t tried one for a long time or are referring to jam jar styles that are easily avoided these days. Persuade them to try a nice bottle from Provence and many are surprised how much they enjoy it.
As far as cuisines are concerned, Rosé is not only a great match for Mediterranean, but also for Japanese and other Asian cuisines, as well as Moroccan, Mexican and even Indian. We are often slightly baffled what to drink with these dishes, yet the typical red fruit flavours and minerality are a really good counterpoint to spicy and aromatic food.
When choosing a bottle from Provence simply go for an AOP wine (Appellation Origine Protegée) as this already guarantees you a very dry wine and one that is not intensively farmed, which gives more concentrated flavours. Paler styles usually have more minerality and citrus aromas and darker styles are more red fruit dominant. The more intensely coloured styles work very well with ethnic foods or BBQs and our Mirabeau Classic is a perfect example of a more fruit forward wine that does very nicely with a wide range of foods. The paler and super pale rosés often tend to be more delicate and are beautiful with more subtle cuisine such as Sushi and fresh seafood. Mirabeau Pure has the right levels of quality to work with high-end cooking and is served in many good restaurants around the world.