Fresh, fruity and sophisticated – Rose please!

While the bloom of the Jacaranda tree signifies the approach of Christmas for some, for me it’s the increase in Rose sales. As the weather warms we naturally look for lighter, fresher wines to wet our palates, and Rose with its innate versatility, is an obvious choice.

Rose is easy to drink, easy to match and has a remarkable ability to compliment just about any occasion. Christmas lunch is a well celebrated affair in my family and amid the festive splendour of ham and turkey, there is always a glass or two of sparkling cold Rose; and when the Christmas pudding arrives … well, we go right on drinking it! From aperitif, to table wine, with Rose you can’t go wrong.

It has been interesting to watch the gradual transformation of Rose over the years; from sweet, pink and somewhat unsophisticated to the paler, dry and decidedly popular styles frequently seen in the poised hands of today’s rich and famous. At this very moment, celebrities are relaxing in luxury yachts overlooking the iridescent turquoise waters of Provence sipping dry Rose. Quality bottles of Domanie Ott and Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel dwell within the walls of the opulent mansions dotting the coast line of southern France. Rose’s popularity is increasing rapidly, its fresh sophistication part-and-parcel of the lavish lifestyles of the supremely glamorous.

Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel, a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mouvedre and Syrah is one of the many special Roses to emerge from the purpose grown vineyards of Provence in Southern France. Whispering Angel, as characteristic of the more popular styles of Rose, is a pale peachy salmon colour and the taste is exquisite; delicate and fruity, with an undeniable spicy mineral quality that lingers on the palate beautifully. Domanie Ott is another sublime high-end Rose from Provence. Ultra delicate and beautifully textured, Domaine Ott is pale, dry and fruity with a noticeable acidity that gives it a defined structure.

While such Provence wines with their suave image are understandably popular, I have a special partiality for the Italian Castello di Ama Rosata, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. Sharing the mineral-like quality of the more savoury styles of Rose, Castello di Ama Rosata has a deeper, more intense colour that serves to remind me that I am indeed drinking a Rose!

Light, clean and fresh with a fruity cheerfulness and defining mineral edge, Rose is so deliciously easy to drink. Its refreshing versatility makes Rose a lovely choice for summer dining and the perfect companion for the festive season. This Christmas might I entice you to experiment with the dry savoury styles of Rose which are gaining notoriety across the globe. You may like to close your eyes and allow the crisp fruity taste of your Rose to transport you to the deck of a luxury yacht in the French Riviera, or for the realists among us, let your next glass of Rose do what it does so well… compliment and enhance the present moment.

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