All the Rosés of the Summer

rosé
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Sure, we love our rich reds and zesty white wines, but is there anything more synonymous with summer than a chilled bottle of rosé?

Those longer days and balmy evenings seem to pair so well with a bottle – and that is before we begin to consider the wide array of seasonal summery eats that go so beautifully with pink wines. Yes, they are outrageously versatile. The scope of styles ranging from dry to sweet, from the palest blush to the most vibrant shade of salmon, means that you can drink a glass with just about any cuisine.

Provence in southern France is probably the most famous European region for rosé. Diverse terroir and the sunny, warm Mediterranean climate make Provence an ideal home for many grape varieties used to make rosé – Cinsault, Grenache, the local Tibouren, and others. The wines here are dry, fruity, and elegant, perfect for picnics, barbecues, and sunny days on the beach.

rosé
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For something a little different, we’ll head a little further south, to the island of Corsica. Rosés on the island are often made from Nielluccio, a red grape thought to be a clone of Italy’s famed Sangiovese. These are bold, full-bodied, delicious rosés that pair well with anything off the grill.

Pinot Noir lovers should look towards the New World and California in particular if looking to satisfying their Pinot rosé fix. Ripe but elegant, with bright, mouthwatering acidity, California rosé of Pinot, especially from Sonoma and Mendicino, is delicious with anything tomato-based, salmon, and soft cheese, ranging from brie to paneer.

In southern Italy, most notably in Puglia, aka the ‘heel’ of the boot, Primitivo is king. Though usually made into red wine, this Old World version of the Zinfandel grape makes for gorgeous, ripe yet balanced rosés that are full of raspberry, cherry, and spice. Seafood, especially grilled fish and prawns make an amazing pairing with rosé of Primitivo.

You may associate Rioja with reds, but you’ll find plenty of excellent rosados (that’s Spanish for rosé) made across the region. Tempranillo and Garnacha star as the main grapes for the rosés of Rioja, with notes of ripe red berries, a touch earthy, and often with a hint of peppery spice. Naturally, these wines are stellar with Spanish cuisine and work a treat with lamb dishes, bold spices, and egg curries.

rosé
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Over in Ribera del Duero, we find a clarete, a style unique to the region. It is not quite a rosé, but its lovely pink hue means it deserves a mention on this list. Unlike most rosés, which get their color from brief contact between the wine and the red grape skins, clarete is a blend of red and white grapes – something you do not really see in the rosé world apart from in sparkling wines. These tend to be aged before bottling, giving them wonderful complexity. If you’re typically a red wine drinker, give clarete a try.

Ready to slap on some sunscreen, pour yourself a glass of wine and catch some of that summer sun? Raise a glass to the warm weather with these picks:

  • Chateau Leoube Love by Leoube
  • Domaine Maestracci Calvi e Prove Rosé
  • Apriori Wentzel Vineyard Rosé
  • Feudi di San Marzano Tramari Rosé di Primitvo
  • Marques de Murrieta Primer Rosé
  • Dominio del Aguila Picaro del Aguila Clarete

Speaking of drinks for the hot months, maybe you’ll enjoy some Easy and Refreshing Cocktails for Summer?