A guide to rosé wine

Jonathan Goodall

Read our guide to buying and serving rosé wine.

It's hard to take anything pink too seriously, as imaginary elephants and tutu-wearing hippos will testify. 

Pink wines have only recently started to shake off their 'bottle-makes-a-nice-table-lamp' image; but rest assured, these days pink doesn't necessarily mean plonk and there are plenty of good rosé wines available.

Yes, there are still plenty of cloying, confected rosés for the unerringly sweet of tooth, but the choice of 'grown-up' rosés has never been broader. Dry, crisp, uniquely refreshing styles, are becoming the picnic/barbecue wine of choice for a growing band of al fresco adventurers. In fact, rosé consumption has rocketed in recent years.

How to get the most from rosé

The best way to enjoy rosé wine is to drink it young, fresh and chilled, so insist on the latest vintage as even the best rosé wines start to lose their bloom after only six months in the bottle. 

As they're not intended for ageing, screwtops instead of corks are fine; and, besides, we all forget the corkscrew from time to time.

The best rosé wines

Delicious rosé wines come from as far afield as Chile and New Zealand but Southern France and Spain are the traditional epicentres of rosé production. 

Grenache (Garnacha in Spanish) forms the backbone of ripe, robust rosés from Provence and the southern Rhone and for rosados from Rioja, Navarra, Somontano and Priorato.

What to serve with rosé

Not surprisingly, chilled rosé wines match superbly with herby rotisserie chicken and salad nicoise, cured Spanish hams, fresh prawns and paella.

They also work well with mildly spiced oriental dishes such as Chinese sweet and sour, but for pink sensory overload drink rosé with taramasalata.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.