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Sum­mer is a-com­ing. At least that’s what off-li­cences such as O’Briens are bank­ing on, as they roll out their sea­sonal se­lec­tion of rosé wines: some juicy and fruity, some dry and del­i­cate, all pretty in pink and whis­per­ing sweet prom­ises of stolen sunny lunchtimes and balmy evenings out in the gar­den.

Rosé is made to be drunk young, spon­ta­neously and of­ten. Whether bone-dry and crisp or off-dry with a lit­tle resid­ual sugar, the em­pha­sis is on cap­tur­ing lots of fresh, vi­brant fruit and on de­liv­er­ing them in a rel­a­tively af­ford­able pack­age. It’s a wine to have in the fridge for pop­ping open when­ever the mood or the food sug­gests you think pink.

O’Briens’ ‘buy two, get one free’ sum­mer rosé pro­mo­tion sug­gests stock­ing up fridges for those catch-’em-while-you­can flashes of sum­mer. And be­cause you can mix and match, it’s a chance to ex­plore the many dif­fer­ent styles this sur­pris­ingly ver­sa­tile wine can of­fer.

Think about what you’re ask­ing your rosé to do for you. Are you in the mood for some­thing softly spo­ken, or af­ter a bolder char­ac­ter to shout over the clam­our of a long day? Are you seek­ing some­thing de­li­cious to en­joy by it­self, or will you be serv­ing it with food, and, if so, what? Look for acid­ity for seafood and sal­ads and a light touch for sub­tler flavours, while off-dry sweet­ness makes a great foil for warm spices. Above all, ex­per­i­ment and have some fun. Be­cause fun is ul­ti­mately what rosé is all about.

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