Three Rose Wines for Summer:
For whatever reason, Rose wine is synonymous with summer for me. Those long evenings sitting outdoors with friends seem perfect when accompanied by a chilled bottle of pink wine. And, it always seems a good option for a summer lunch – generally both white and red wine drinkers will happily quaff a glass of rose.
I have a few favourites already – I’m a big fan of Mirabeau – I feel part of the family, thanks to a unique series of videos I watched when I first started to write the blog, each one detailing a different stage in the Cronk family’s move to Provence. And, perhaps because I love red wine, I generally enjoy any of the Tavel wines, which come from a particular region in the Rhône Valley. A Tavel rose is usually quite dark and is mainly made from grenache grape.
I’ve been tasting three new rose wines this summer and really enjoyed them all. Though each one has its place, I think the lighter Les Pins Couches would work with steamed or grilled fish and chicken and perhaps with summer salads, while the Villa Maria Hawkes Bay Rose would be equally at home paired with spicier food.
Starting with Les Pins Couches Rose from Jean-Luc Colombo. This was a very crisp, light and easy summer wine. It’s made using the traditional saignee method, so the pink colour comes from the skin of the grapes rather than by blending red and white wines. It’s fresh, vibrant and fruity and, at 12.5% ABV a good lunch wine. It retails for around £11.00 a bottle and you’ll find it through various stockists including Harrods
I was looking forward to the Sancerre Le Rabault Rose. I’m a big fan of white Sancerre wines, fine, dry and chalky. This rose is 100% Pinot Noir and for me at least it had more depth than Les Pins Couches and would perhaps work better across a variety of foods. Raspberry notes and a beautiful summery salmon pink, this is a classic rose and turned out to be my personal favourite. Of course I’d happily drink it alone too – but we actually enjoyed it with a Brazilian style Picahna roast beef and a chimichurri sauce. The Le Rabault Rose retails for around £18 – the same sort of price you’d pay for a decent pinot noir.
The final bottle of Rose was no less delicious though. A blend of Merlot and Pinot Gris, I sat in the garden drinking a glass or two one summer evening. With lovely bright strawberry and red fruit tastes, I would be happy to drink this any day of the week. I think it would be a great barbecue wine, the sort of thing you’d want to drink outdoors in the sunshine. You’ll find this at Tesco for around £8.00 a bottle.
Disclosure: I was sent samples of these wines to review. All comments are editorially given.