Summer’s coming up and one of our favourite summer activities is cooling down from being in the sweltering heat. Here’s some long-held TFW wisdom: the best drink for summer days is rosé.
Some of you might still be holding onto the old ideas like “rosé is too sweet”, “It’s not manly to drink rosé”, or the common “rosé is just cheap plonk!”.
We understand, but you’re thinking of the mass-produced, sickly sweet white Zinfandels that came out of the U.S. in the 70s, not the good types of rose wine you can get today.
Those white Zinfandels gave rosé a bad reputation, but read on and we’ll show you the world of mindblowing rose wine styles.
These wines have pizzazz and remain light and refreshing drink while they brim with summer flavours like strawberries, watermelon, cherries and rose petal, and end with a pop of freshness. One glass please!
A cool glass of rosé on a hot, summer day - bliss!
Style: Fresh and fruity
If you can't decide which rosé to try, you can't go wrong with a Provence style rosé wine. Like a must-have item in your wardrobe, a leather jacket or a little black dress, a Provence rosé is a must-have pink wine.
It's a rosé that can be dressed-up or down and should be crisp, fresh and dry, which makes it an extremely versatile wine for all kinds of food.
Made with Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, or Cinsault grapes, these rosés are blossoming gardens packed with mouth-watering fresh strawberries and watermelon.
Pale pink in colour, Provence rosés finish off with a distinctive salty minerality on the palate, leaving you longing for more.
Style: Rich and Savoury
Made predominantly with Grenache or Cinsault, a Tavel rosé is the rosé version of a good bodied and structured red wine. A rosé from Tavel is a rugged wine brimming with summer berries and typically low in acid but high in alcohol.
It also offers nutty notes with a touch of ageing that intensifies the richness of the wine, making it an ideal match for that barbeque you’re having this weekend.
Pinot Noir Rosé
Style: Elegant and Fruity
Someone once told me Pinot Noir grapes are like women. They can offer you a lot provided that adequate care is put into looking after them.
Because they are delicate, they are sensitive to harsh growing conditions and it is challenging to make them grow.
But give them some TLC and they’ll return the favour. A delightful and sexy wine, Pinot Noir rosé flirts with soft, subtle aromas of cherries, strawberries, raspberries and watermelon.
It’s a crisp and delicate wine that just lingers on your palate.
Style: Fruit Bomb
If you’re looking for a plush fruity rosé, you’ll hit the jackpot with Grenache rosés. With moderate levels of tannins and acidity, this style has a lush body with a bit of sass.
Expect a zingy wine with notes of red berries laced with juicy orange and hibiscus fragrance.
Try it with some zesty, creamy Mediterranean dishes and you’ll have an explosion of exotic flavours dancing on your palate.
Style: Cheerfully Fruity
Looking for something that’ll spark up your hot afternoon? Look no further! Some Sangiovese rosés may have an after-note of faint bitterness on their finish, but that’s their signature style.
On the front palate you’ll get a thirst-quenching bright and dry wine with pronounced flavours of roses, peaches, melon, and fresh strawberries. Sipping this with that chicken sandwich you prepared for your picnic will make for a splendid afternoon.
Style: Savoury with a Twist
Syrah grapes offer a bolder profile compared to the grapes of other rosé styles. More of a ruby red instead of light pink, Syrah rosés are full bodied and go well with bolder flavoured food.
Like other rosés, this style delivers a mouthful of fresh summer fruits like cherries and strawberries. Its savoury hints combine with the pepperiness that Syrah grapes typically offer, which adds a touch of mysteriousness to these wines.
Style: Floral and Fruity
These are striking rosés with pale coral hues and noses of violets and rose petals. Mourvèdre rosés are also called Bandol rosés.
Bandol is located within the Provence region but the main differences between Bandol and Provence styles are caused by the different soil types of the regions and the different mix of grape varieties in each rosé wine style.
Mourvèdre based rosé has a strong character with balance and complexity. Round and full bodied, these wines are full of red plums, cherries, pomegranate followed by dried herbs and delicate spice notes.
Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
Style: Fresh and Savoury
This style of rosé is in the dark pink spectrum and takes on a ruby red colour. What you typically find in a Cabernet Sauvignon red wine is a good indication of what a Cabernet Sauvignon rosé tastes like.
Expect blackcurrant, green capsicums, and concentrated cherry sauce with a twist of black pepper. Typically Cabernet Sauvignon rosés aren’t aged in oak so the acidity in this wine will be slightly brighter. The brightness and savory notes of this wine go well with beef or lamb dishes.
Style: Savoury and Fruity
A Spanish variety, Tempranillo makes fabulous Rioja red wines as well as rosé wines. Like those pretty rosy cheeks that you get on a cold winter day, Tempranillo rosés are an attractive pale pink colour.
Watermelon, strawberries and raspberries make up the fruity component of this style and the savoury aspect features herbaceous notes of green peppercorns and grilled chicken. Spanish rosé paired with Spanish cuisine? What a delight!
Style: Sweet and Fruity
This style was popularised in the 70s due to its consumer-friendly sweetness. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea (or glass of rosé!), but Zinfandel rosé offers flavours of candied strawberries, peaches and cream combined with melon notes.
Like some off-dry Gewürztraminer white wines, this off-dry rosé style beautifully complements dishes with a spicy kick, like fresh and zingy Thai cuisine.
There you have it folks, now you have read our rosé guide and know about 10 different styles of rosé wines. Which one will you pick up for your next summer outing?