WINE O’CLOCK: The last of the summer rosé
AUTUMN is on the horizon, but for the last of the summer wine let me return to rosé, the great staple of barbecues, picnics and garden parties.
It used to be looked down on as a sweet summer drink for people who could not decide between white and red.
But I read that it has gone upmarket, because French vineyards are producing drier, more structured (and more expensive) rosés.
Merchants report that it is being drunk all the year round and appearing more commonly at the dinner table.
Rosé is produced by allowing the skin of dark grapes to stay in contact with the juice for a short time. The longer the contact the darker the wine.
It also varies with the grapes used, which include Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. It is produced in Portugal, in Spain, where it is called roasado, Italy, where it is rosato. Chile and California where it is often called blush.
But in my opinion, the best rosé comes from the south of France. It’s not really expensive; €12, or so, will get you a decent bottle.
Here are three good ones to try, all French and all from the Wine Centre, Kilkenny.
L’Amours Rosé (€13.99). Grenache, Syrah and Malbec go into this perfect summer wine. Pale pink with a scent of strawberry and a tang of citrus fruits.
La Bastille Rosé (€9.99). A very light wine. The blend is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon. Good with salads and shellfish, it also makes a nice aperitif.
Cardounettes Rosé (€11.99). Produced from Syrah, Malbec and Grenache, organically grown in the Languedoc. Excellent with fish and a very pleasant drink on its own.