Rosé wines have long been associated with relaxed summer days and provide a perfect backdrop to many of summer’s greatest food fare. Working to overcome their tainted reputation of being super sweet, "intro" wines, a true rosé is often off-dry to dry in nature and displays appropriate fresh fruit flavours that lean toward the strawberry and raspberry side of the fruit spectrum.
Indeed, historically, the delicate, dry style of rosé would have been exemplified by Anjou rosé from the Loire. In fact, the original claret from Bordeaux was a pale wine, which would probably now be referred to as a rosé.
After World War II the fashion was for medium sweet rosés. Once again however, the pendulum nowadays seems to be swinging back towards a drier, ‘bigger’ style. These wines are made from Rhone grapes like Syrah, Grenache and Carignan in hotter regions such as Provence, the Languedoc and Australia.
Such is rosé’s popularity, that in France, it has exceeded white wines in sales. Wine-based mixables have also achieved phenomenal growth through the introduction of new rosé varieties, for example, the West Coast Cooler brand rose 91% during the six-month period ending on 31 December last.
Lively and lush
Miguel Torres Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2008 (Findlater €12.99)
When compared to more traditional rosés, the Chilean Santa Digna is a wine of unmistakable personality: original, young and nonconformist. Fragrant, floral and temptingly fruity that only Pacific Cabernet Sauvignon, rosés can offer. It is no wonder that it has been awarded a commendation at this year’s International Wine Challenge, yet another award to add to its collection of international recognitions. A great value for money reserve offering – enjoy on its own or with a simple dish of pasta, salad or fish.
Sutter Home White Zinfandel 2007 (Findlater €9.99)
The original and best White Zinfandel from sunny California. Produced from red Zinfandel grapes grown in the upper Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys, this is the ultimate in White Zinfandels. Grapes for this bottling were harvested early in the growing season to maximize the freshness typical of this wine. Delicate blush pink in colour, with sweet strawberry and watermelon aromas. A fresh lively wine bursting with fruit. Enjoy chilled as an aperitif or with all types of food, especially those with a slight spiciness.
Mateus Rosé Original (Findlater €8.99)
Mateus’ origins date back to 1942, when Fernando Van Zeller Guedes, founder of the company, had the idea of creating a wine with a strong personality and unique flavour, presented in an original and innovative bottle inspired by the flask bottles of the soldiers in World War I. This original combination and quality of the wine made it a success and Mateus grew to become a global brand, present in more than 125 countries. Its unique bottle is a true design icon, recently rejuvenated to best capture the timeless values of this unique and innovative brand.
Served chilled, Mateus Rosé is ideal as an aperitif, to accompany a refreshing moment at the end of a long day. Ideal to serve with light meals, fish and seafood, white meat, grilled dishes and salads.
Pink Sin (Barry & Fitzwilliam €9.49)
Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam Ltd and harvested by Mont Gras Properties in Chile, Pink Sin is indeed guilty of turning innocent pink into a sinful pleasure of many. Produced with the first grapes hand-harvested this season, Pink Sin Zinfandel Rosé from the Colchagua Valley in Chile, shows the early fruit characteristics, resulting in a delicious, fresh and lively wine.
Using 100% Zinfandel grapes this is a brilliant and lively rosé wine, with watermelon, cherry and raspberry notes and rich, fresh and expressive aromas. Loads of red fruit and touches of citric notes make this wine fresh, crispy and juicy.