Rais­ing a glass to rosé of all shades

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Food & Drink - Hamish An­der­son

The rise in rosé con­sump­tion and rep­u­ta­tion over the past decade has been star­tling. It is no longer a friv­o­lous pink drink to be con­sumed with­out thought dur­ing sum­mer months. Now we drink it year-round, and the best ex­am­ples com­mand a high price and are talked of like other pre­mium wines. The re­sult has been an in­crease in qual­ity across all price brack­ets.

Whereas pro­duc­ers used to view rosé as by-prod­uct of red or as way of dis­pos­ing of in­fe­rior grapes, they are now grow­ing and pick­ing with it in mind. It is al­most al­ways made from red grapes, the level of colour be­ing con­trolled by how long you leave the juice to soak with the grape skins – think of the skins like a teabag. Colour is all-im­por­tant in the UK, where we love a del­i­cate pink, the paler the bet­ter. There is noth­ing wrong with a pretty sal­mon colour, but I would also like to stand up for the much-ma­ligned darker rosé. Con­trary to pop­u­lar opin­ion, these wines are not au­to­mat­i­cally sweeter, they just have more body. This I fnd use­ful when I have friends over for a meal, as they are light enough to fll the aper­i­tif slot but also have the depth to cope with the broad range of favours en­tailed by al­fresco din­ing. Here, though, I have con­cen­trated on two south­ern-French bot­tles; the re­gion does pale bet­ter than any­where else. 2015 Côtes du Rhône Re­serve Rosé, Les Dauphins, Rhône Val­ley £6.75, down to £6 un­til June 2, Asda An un­com­pli­cated, re­fresh­ing glass of crushed straw­ber­ries with a whis­per of spice.

2015 Mirabeau Pure, Côtes de Provence £12.99, Waitrose From a re­gion where you need to choose with care, this is a su­per-refned, classy glass of pale-pink heaven.

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