It's summer! Are you feeling rosé?
So, the weather is getting warmer, the bar-b-ques are beng lit and now that lockdown is easing, and small groups can get together, it’s time to look at that most summery of wines, the rosé.
You can watch the video below, or read on...
So, what is rosé, and how is it made? Well, it’s not that straightforward - there are 3 different ways.
The first way to make a rosé is for the grape to be lightly pressed - the resulting juice would just be very lightly pigmented. That juice is fermented and we get very pale delicate rosé. This is called Vin Gris, grey wine.
The second way is by the unattractively named “bleed” method -
Red wine grapes are crushed, but the juice and the skins remain in contact for a short time (2 hours- 2 days) until the desired shade of pink is achieved. A portion of the juice is “bled off” the skins. That pink juice is then fermented on its own and this is becomes rosé. Incidentally, the juice that remains in contact with the skins goes on to make a red wine.
Thidly, although not common, is blending white wine and red wine together. Some people may consider this cheating, and in France it is banned everywhere except Champagne, where it is a method used for making some very fine Champagne rosés. You'll also find this method used to make some new world rosé wines.
I’ve tracked down three rosés on the supermarket shelves for you - all under a tenner, and all quite different.
Wine One - Mud House rosé, Asda £9, Morrisons £9 (Currently on offer at £7 until 11/08/20)
From sunny Marlborough in New Zealand, who have used their signature Sauvignon Blanc and splashed in Pinot Noir to create the pink colour and add red berry flavours. Is this lazy, or genius?
Well, the sauvignon blanc aromas are still there on the nose, and the grassy taste of sauvignon can be detected, along with subtle red berry flavours.
The cool climate of New Zealand means the wine is bursting with juicy freshness, and I can imagine this going down very well on a warm day.
I think this is my favourite of the three wines, but I am a sauvignon blanc fan.
Wine Two - Faustino Vii Rioja rosé, Asda £8
We’re off to Spain for our next rosé - or rosado - as they say in Spanish. This is Faustino 7th Rioja rose...
It uses 100% Tempranillo; the grape that dominates Rioja wines. This is a bold grape, ripened in that hot climate, so the colour is more cherry red than the other two.
It has that rustic, tannic smell that is distinctive of a rioja, although not as powerfully as the red wine would be. The red fruits come through in the taste, and it's fuller bodied and more brash than the other two - in a good way. It’s also fresh and gluggable, and would be a perfect partner at a summer bar-b-que.
It's normally £8 at Asda, but is currently (2/8/20) on sale for a bargain price of £5.50. Also available at The Drink Shop for £9.12.
Wine Three - Waitrose Blueprint Cotes de Provence, Waitrose £8.99
We can't write a piece about rosé wine without heading to France - this Cotes de Provence rosé from Waitrose is from the Blueprint range, which has been chosen by the award-winning team as being an outstanding, great-value example of a classic wine.
This one caught the eye of Tim Atkin, a master of wine who rated it 91 points, which is incredible for a wine at this price. It’s in Waitrose for £8.99.
In the glass it's a pale salmon colour, and looks stylish, it's made from the classic Rhone red grapes of Grenache and Cinsault. It's dry but light and easy drinking, Perfect for summer evenings and bbqs.
Join me again in a couple of weeks, where we'll look at a selection of Pinot Noirs for International Pinot Noir Day.