L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

08 July 2006 Blog Home : July 2006 : Permalink

In Praise of Rosé

I've mentioned my enjoyment of Rosé before, but after a (suitably fueled) discussion yesterday with some friends and perusing the Provence from Fayence blog where there are links to two stories about this badly neglected style of wine, I think it is time to really nail my colours to the mast.

Provençal rosé is a wine that the world should drink more of. Unlike other rosé wines, such as the Rosé d'Anjou or those unspeakable bliush wines from California, a provençal rosé is dry. It is also light. A non-Provence rosé that I enjoy is "Clairet" from (IIRC) Bordeaux, but it tends to have more flavour and presence that the typical rosé from here. The rosé from Provence is a perfect summer wine. As one of the links above notes, it goes very well with barbeque. Indeed it goes very well with all sorts of food, even sushi, but it also goes very well without food. With the right company, there is nothing better to do down here than spend an afternoon outside in the shade of a tree or a parasol, sipping rosé and watching the world go by.

Rosé is not a pretentious wine. You can go visit somewhere like the Château Ste Roseline and spend an enjoyable afternoon tasting (relatively) expensive rosé and it is indeed pleasant (in fact a tour of the Lorgues/les Arcs area of the Var would not be complete without some degustation) yet there is no need to go to the château to get decent rosé at the right price. If you are at a restaurant here I suggest saving time and effort and just asking for a pichet of the house rosé, and you need not do much more when in the hypermarché. There is no need to worry about vintage, rosé should be drunk the summer after it was picked, and little need to worry about the appelation. Given a choice, I recommend a Gris, since the Gris seems to be priced right (€3 / bottle in the supermarket) and provide a reliable quality but, to be honest, almost any wine grown and bottled in the 83 (Var) or 13 (Bouches du Rhône) departments will be entirely acceptable and it really doesn't matter whether it is a vin de pays or an appelation controlé.

I hesitate to say it is a requirement, but it is common practice to drink your rosé on the rocks. A couple of ice-cubes in the glass keeps it cool enough and their melting is a sign that more rosé and ice needs to be added to the glass - got to counteract the evaporation you know :)


I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin