Taste the zest of summer—

Rosé wine is liquid summer. But not all of it has the relaxing holiday vibe. Some is made as an off-cut of red, bleeding off the juice to concentrate the main event. But when it is made as a specialism, macerating the grapes gently to get that perfect tint and taste, it’s a whole day off in a single sip.

Provence has made rosé wine its speciality. It’s superb to pair with garlic and niçoise salad. That pale colour denotes delicacy. Deeper colours will be fruitier, which are good with the bold flavours of a barbecue, and if you see ‘blush’ on the label, expect sweetness.

Check out Rioja or the Rhône for a decent bet with food and English rosé for zesty refreshment. In general, always go for the most recent vintages. While some rosés do age, such as Bandol, it’s that magic breezy subtlety from youthful fruit that tastes like summer in full flow.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

WHOLE LOTTA ROSÉ: Coteaux d’Aix en Provence 2018 (12.5%) £7 Tesco. Exceptional value for this peachy rosé. Buy a case.

CRACKLIN’ ROSÉ: Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Contesa 2018 (13.5%) £8.25 The Wine Society. Deep juicy rosé that’s a beauty for the barbecue.

LA VIE EN ROSÉ: Cune Rioja Rosado 2018 (12.5%) £8.50 Co-op. Moreish and magical, nothing beats this with a seafood paella.

KISS FROM A ROSÉ: Reserve du Boulas Côtes du Rhône 2018 (13%) £9.50 M&S. Lush! Textured, fruity and fabulously flavoursome.

WINE OF THE WEEK

La Rosaline Rosé 2018 (12.5%) £6.75 Morrisons. Beautifully balanced depth, freshness and intensity. The sip of summer.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 2nd June 2019

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