Think pink for Mother’s Day

Flagship wines 12.03.15

Flagship wines 12.03.15 - Credit: Archant

Rosé wines are no linger just for summer as there are so many good ones available that will match most foods and occasions as well as being a delicious aperitif. (Bear this in mind if planning a Mothers’ Day meal…)

This is a result of a change in mind set of producers and consumers. Gone are the bland soft wines that followed cheap Anjou Rosé and Spanish wines, and there is a resurgence of interest in Provencal rosés et al that are serious wines with distinct flavours and obvious quality.

Still rosé wines are made worldwide. France has a reputation for producing a range of styles including those from Provence with a delicate light salmon pink colour such as Rimauresq Rosé Cru Classe Cotes de Provence, elegant Loire rosés from Sancerre and the easy drinking appealing fruity wines from Nimes, now part of the Rhone appellation and offering great value. They are great with mezé starters and fish dishes.

Spanish rosés made from the Garnacha grape have a delicious creamy yet refreshing vibrant strawberry fruit flavour that also encompasses lovely savoury notes that can match tapas or paella.

Southern Hemisphere rosé wines are often full of richer riper fruit flavours than their Northern counterparts as the grapes are riper with softer tannins. Colour and flavour are extracted more quickly and they are more robust without tannins.

Look out for Chilean Merlots such as Los Tres Curas, Rogers & Rufus, from Australia made from Shiraz and Cabernet, and South African Pinotage based wines such as Rosalind from Jeremy Borg’s Painted Wolf range.

There is only one region where the wine is permitted to be made by what some would be the obvious method of blending red and white wine to achieve the desired amount of colour, tannin and fruit flavour and that is Champagne.

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Rosé Champagnes are made from the permitted grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay with a higher proportion of the two Pinots to achieve the lovely onion skin colour of many rosé Champagnes and they are often drier and leaner with a delicious elegant taste. A lovely Mothers’ Day gift, often in their own gift boxes!

Tasmanian producers such as Jansz and Taltarni show that the high quality rosé sparkling wines are worth every penny. They too, are made using the Champagne grapes in the traditional way.

These wines are produced using the saignée method where some of the fermenting must is drained from the tanks or barrels of fermenting red grapes during the early days of fermentation. The wine maker can then achieve a more concentrated rosé wine by drawing off some of the wine.

Look out for some lower alcohol roses to fulfil the demand for lighter wines. As the fermenting grape juice is separated from the skins once the right colour level is achieved the potential alcohol is lower making naturally fruity wines, often semi-sparkling.

Two deliciously fruity Australian examples from the aromatic Moscato grape spring to mind - Mrs Wigley from Wirra Wirra and Innocent Bystander. Great with desserts or as a base for a ‘Ginscato’ cocktail!