The best rosé wines
There are plenty of decent inexpensive rosés to be found
Is there anything more summery than a bottle of chilled rosé? Wine producers lament the fact that we Irish will only crack it open when the sun comes out and the temperature rises – and that doesn’t happen very often. They argue that rosé is a great wine 12 months of the year, and they have a point; rosé goes really well with a variety of foods, including warm- weather salads, but with most chicken and shellfish dishes too. It can also make a great partner for mildly- spiced curries and Asian dishes. Medium- bodied rosé is incredibly versatile, matching up perfectly with grilled and barbecued white meats, paella and risotto, as well as pâtés, charcuterie and goat’s cheese. And of course, it makes a great aperitif. As some of them are off- dry, they can be easier to drink solo or with nibbles than a nerve- jangling crisp acidic white wine. Yet there is something distinctly sunny about rosé. While posh versions are all the rage ( see this week’s Irish Times summer food guide for Whispering Angel) I have a soft spot for light uncomplicated inexpensive rosé, sipped well- chilled while sitting in the shade on a hot sunny day.
There are plenty of decent inexpensive rosés to be found, although I would steer clear of the really cheap, sweet versions. Marks & Spencer held its annual spring wine tasting recently and included a range of wines priced at ¤ 7-¤ 7.50. Normally wines in this category are fairly anodyne, if not very confected, but I was very taken with the House Rosé, along with several white wines. M& S also showed the very gluggable low- alcohol ( 9.5 per cent) Forrest Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé, one of the best low- alcohol wines I have tasted.
Aldi has three rosés, all for less than ¤ 9; as well as the Côtes de Provence listed below, the Exquisite Touraine Rosé (¤ 8.49) is worth trying out.
SuperValu has a rosé promotion ( ends July 7th), with 10 wines, including the excellent Graham Norton Marlborough Rosé (¤ 10), the very elegant, smooth La Petite Perriere (¤ 8), and the crisp, dry Bendel (¤ 10) from Provence. In addition, they stock the recently arrived fruit- filled Santa Rita Rosé 2017 (¤ 12.50) from Chile, as does Tesco. O’Briens off- licence runs a summer- long rosé promotion every year, offering a second bottle at half- price. I featured the Hedonisme Rosé from Gérard Bertrand in the food magazine, and the Chateau Rioter below is a tasty option, but I also enjoyed the food- friendly Petit Bourgeois Pinot Noir Rosé (¤ 15.95, buy one, get one at half price).
Lastly while I am not completely convinced by expensive rosé, for me the finest rosé of all is pink Champagne, and a glass of the Veuve Clicquot Rosé would go down very well on a balmy summer evening.