How to choose rosé
How can you tell from looking at a bottle what rosé will be like? As a rough rule of thumb, look at the colour:
– pale pale rosé should be light, subtle and dry;
– the darker the colour, the richer the flavour;
– anything unnaturally bright pink tends to be sweet.
A few guidelines for choosing by region
Light wines with great acidity tend to come from cool northerly latitudes, while big, rich and often sweeter wines will come form hotter climes:
The majority of Californian rosé available in British supermarkets will be sweet, sticky and simple. Exceptions to that rule, such as Demetria’s offering, are few and far between. ‘White’ Zinfandel is a travesty.
France still holds the broadest hand in rosés. Zingy, fresh, dry rosés with great complexity, as well as bigger rosés, tend to be made in the South of France, from Provence in the east to Languedoc Rousillon in the west, and across the broader Vin de Pays of the South such as the ‘Oc. However, light, dry and off dry rosé with great acidity is abundant in the more northerly Loire, such as the famous rosés of Anjou, and they can even be found from unexpected places such as Bordeaux.
If you want bigger wines for pairing with food, big bold offerings may be found in Spain, with the lightest being traditional pink Riojas, and then the richer succulent Grenache rosés from the South – avoid the very cheap offerings, which will tend to be sweeter. Simple, slightly effervescent Vinho Verdes from Portugal can be great fun too – think Mateus Rosé!
There are also good wines coming out of South Africa – their own Pinotage grape making an interesting tipple. There are interesting pinks from all over the New World. Explore, but remember, more sun means more weight or sugar.
by Bordeaux Bertie