Way to go, rosado! Why Spanish rosé is the best all-rounder.
Rosé is supposed to be easy: simple to understand and enjoy, an uncomplicated, hot-weather pleasure. It’s just the sweetness that can mess it all up and make pink wine seem difficult and unpredictable.
If you love sweeter pinks, you’ll hate the bone-dry, peppery versions on the shelves. Conversely, if you dislike sugary wine, you’ll loathe the confected, medium-sweet examples. And how to distinguish between them? The label often won’t often help, but understanding regional/national styles should.
So, here goes: California rosé is often sweet, to the extent that it suits a fruit pudding more than a main course. As is most Portuguese pink and much of the rosé d’Anjou from the Loire in France.
Australian rosé is rich, ripe and usually just off-dry. Bordeaux’s is medium-bodied and tends towards proper dry, while Provence’s classic style tastes whistle-clean and very dry indeed.
Then there’s Spanish rosado – distinctly dry, for sure, but bright and fruity, too. The dryness means it goes well with savoury, salty food but that red-berry aroma and flavour shine through. It’s inexpensive, too.
All in, Spain is my favourite source of ‘everyday’ rosé. Most Spanish rosados are made from garnacha, though other grapes like tempranillo are sometimes used. Expect a vivid pink colour, the aromas and flavours of fresh strawberry, cranberry and red cherry, and a mouthwatering, tangy finish. Chill well and crack open with jamón, chorizo, seafood or mild cheeses.
Torres Viña Sol Rosé 2011, Catalunya (Asda, Morrisons, Booths, Majestic, Waitrose, from £5.98)
With its scent of strawberries and light cream, and lip-smacking, dry, fresh finish, this makes a great aperitif or party pink on a hot summer’s night.
Rio de la Vida Tempranillo Rosado 2010, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla (Sainsbury’s, £5.99)
Juicy and very cherryish, with a peppery twist. A good-value and delicious match for chorizo and other charcuterie.
Cune Rioja Rosado 2011 (Majestic, £8.99, or £6.99 each for two or more)
A very dry, elegant pink with a delicate strawberry tang, and refreshing lift of lemon. One for seafood, especially prawns.
TIPPLE TIP open-cellar time!
‘English Wine Week starts next Saturday, with many wineries throwing open the cellar door for special tastings, events and vineyard tours. Look out for English wines “guesting” on rural restaurant wine lists, too. Seeenglishwineweek.co.uk for activities in your area’