Summertime and the drinking is rosé

Summertime and the drinking is rosé

There is some debate over the timing of International Rosé Day. The consensus appears to favour this coming Friday, the fourth Friday of June, which was chosen by Valérie Rousselle, a château owner in Provence, when she created the celebration three years ago. That’s at odds with other dates on the calendar – August 14 is favoured by one wine website, and others had it in their diaries for earlier this month.

But let’s not quibble about details. At this time of the year, every day is a perfect time to drink rosé. And its growth in popularity over the past few years confirms that wine lovers around the world enjoy nothing more than a glass of something that is a perfect accompaniment to sunshine, outdoor living and good company.

More than any other wine style, rosé has brands endorsed by celebrities – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Jon Bon Jovi, Kylie Minogue and Sting are among the stars who have their own brands. Christmas karaoke aside, we may be a little more low key, but we’re happy to play our part in spreading the joy. We’ve recently added some great choices to our range of established favourites.

Rosé’s history stretches back around 2,600 years and is traditionally linked to Provence in France. That remains the place to go for the classic pale style, but many other areas in the winemaking world are getting in on the act and producing their own excellent versions.

The rosé production process involves squeezing the juice from red grapes and leaving it to soak alongside the skins for no more than a couple of days. Once the colour reaches the level the winemaker is seeking, the skins are removed and the juice is left to ferment.

The result is a range of pinks, from the palest versions, generally made using Grenache grapes, through a range of darker wines made from Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cinsault among others.

Our picks

One of our recent arrivals is M de Minuty which is a perfect example of the pale rosé that is typical of Provence. Produced in a vineyard that overlooks the Saint-Tropez peninsula, this is a carefully crafted wine. Close your eyes as you savour the aromas of redcurrants and the delicate flavours of peaches and candied orange peel, and imagine you’re in the South of France.

For a less conventional version, Adi Badenhorst is your man. He runs the family vineyard in the Paardeberg district of Swartland in South Africa and makes this wine from old Cinsault and Grenache vines. It’s much darker in colour than the Provence style and is packed with cranberry and redcurrant flavours together with a hint of strawberry and cream – perfect whether you’re enjoying good weather outside or on the settee watching sport.

Back in Europe, there’s also something different about Tremendus from Bodegas Honorio Rubio in Spain’s La Rioja Alta. It looks like a traditional rosé but is made using a different method. The process involves pulping of the skins of both white and red grapes. The juice is then drawn off and fermentation takes place, essentially creating a white wine with a pale pink colour. It is bone dry and fresh with subtle red fruit flavours, and is an ideal accompaniment for food, such as salt cod a la riojana or dishes with a little more spice.

Whether you’re celebrating this coming Friday or at any other time over the coming weeks, there’s something in our rosé collection to suit all tastes. Also please note a 12% discount applies to this collection for the next fortnight – code is rose2021 at checkout.