The last chapter of my new book Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines is about the lovely rosés of Provence. I was fortunate not only to sample many mouth-watering, bone-dry, food-friendly rosés, but I also cooked a multi-course meal with one winemaker and met the rosé-drinking donkey of another. (You’ll just have to read the book : )
Here are my top tips for finding great rosés in your local liquor store, no matter where you live.
My Top 3 Insider Tips to Finding Tasty Rosés
Forget those notions of pink wine being sweet: today’s rosés are bone-dry and refreshing. With Provence, you’re guaranteed to get a dry rosé because they don’t make a sweet style or even an off-dry one at all.
Look for categories of wine like rosé that have never been taken seriously by connoisseurs, and always considered lightweights. You’ll find pleasure at a pittance there.
Rosé is best served chilled, as it’s more refreshing. So here’s a tip that will give wine snobs a coronary: if your wine’s too warm, drop an ice cube in it for 10 seconds, then scoop it out. It has an immediate chilling effect and doesn’t dilute the flavours—and after all, we’re not trying to ice Châteaux Margaux, just an everyday good value wine. Consider this your license to chill.
My Top 3 Rosés to Try
Gassier Rosé Sables D’azur, Côtes De Provence, France: Pure loveliness in a glass! Summer sunshine glinting off the Mediterranean. Let this wine take you there. Ripe field strawberries and raspberries. Don’t run out. Drink as an aperitif or pair with: cucumber sandwiches, lighter seafood, salads. 33621 $14.95 Score: 90/100
Bandol Rosé Cuvée Grande Tradition La Cadierenne, Provence, France: Lovely and light with expressive notes of strawberry fields forever. Good acidity and great for food. Pair with: herbed chicken, seared tuna. 119453 $17.95 Score: 90/100
Château La Tour De L’évêque Rosé, Côtes De Provence, France: Pretty, classic and aromatic of with strawberries and raspberries. Mouth-watering and light- to medium-bodied. Pair with: grilled shrimp with homemade aioli , scallops pan-seared with butter and garlic. 319392 $18.95 Score: 89/100
You’ll also find these wines and others on my free mobile wine app for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Blackberry.