The Do’s and Don’ts of Drinking Rosé (and Bottles to Try Now)

Now that having a powerful camera in our pockets is the norm, it is very tempting to over-document moments and sights for posterity, or at least, until we get the next smartphone. The downside of that is that life’s pleasures can become a streak of photo opportunities, stored for rewatching later, at the cost of a lesser experience in the now.

Wine is a common casualty of this phenomena, and the more visually appealing a wine, the more likely its visuals might end up in a hashtag. When it comes to rosé, this is so prevalent that at times it almost feels we’re drinking a meme. 

And don’t get me wrong, I love to take a ‘pretty in pink’ picture of a glossy glass on a sunny day as much as the next wine-loving millennial, but not at the expense of engineering every drinking occasion to the point that the wine lies warm and undrunk in the glass by the time the picture is posted.

So, allow me to channel my inner Elle Woods and delve into the laws of rosé. Well, more suggestions than actual laws, but hopefully a few tips to help you find and enjoy rosé to the maximum.

DON’T

  • Store a rosé for a long time: With a few exceptions, rosé wines are meant to be drunk young, so cellaring is generally a no no.
  • Make it cringe online: Sharing the odd pic is grand, but if you’re starting to get ‘rosé made me do it’ merch advertised in between insta-stories, you’re probably over doing it. 
  • Think it’s all sweet or off dry: Just like with whites and reds, there is a wide range of options at different levels of dryness and acidity.
  • Gender it: Just because something is pink, it doesn’t mean half the population are meant to miss out on it.
  • Let the weather dictate your choice: Forget about ‘rosé season’ and just treat yourself to a glass whenever you desire one. Yes, it’s nice on a sunny day, but that doesn’t mean it has to hibernate come September.

DOs

  • Explore different regions: Yes, Provence is the hot spot for pink wine right now, but good rosé can be found all over the world. Good places to start? Navarra, Rioja (Spain), Loire Valley, Tavel (France), Veneto (Italy), Marlborough (New Zealand) and Stellenbosch (South Africa), just to name a few.
  • Share good moments and recommend great finds: As in everything related to wine, moderation is best. While jumping on the rosé-meme bandwagon is a bit much, being natural and connecting with others to share good times and finds is more than welcome. I guess we all draw the line at different points, so make it work for you.
  • Keep it casual: One of the best things about rosé is that it is supposed to be fun and spontaneous. Yes, taste it ‘properly’ and appreciate its colour, aromas and flavours, but feel free to simply enjoy it.
  • Serve it at the right temperature: Rosé doesn’t need to be ice-cold. In fact, it gives its best show when served at around 10°C, which is also the temperature recommended for rich, aromatic whites. If it’s been for hours in the fridge, the bottle might benefit from 20 minutes at room temperature before serving. 
  • Pair it with food: Rosé wines are exceptionally versatile with food pairings, and often save the day when choosing a red or a white is tricky. Examples of foods that go well with pink wines include salmon dishes, charcuterie, soft cheeses, quiche, vegetarian barbecue and duck.
  • Make is bubbly: Make your fizz blush and treat yourself to one of the many gorgeous sparkling rosés out there. There’s Rosé Champagne, of course, but many other world-renown bubbles have a pink counterpart, including Cava and Prosecco (this one was only created very recently as a category, so ideal to try out something new!).

Looking for a few bottles to try? Check out the suggestions below.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blush 2020

13% ABV

€14.99 – Available at Winesoftheworld.ie

This crisp blush from New Zealand powerhouse Villa Maria is made by blending the country’s flagship grape Sauvignon Blanc (90%) with a small amount of Merlot (10%).

It features the zesty character we know and love from the variety, with a floral touch and delicate notes of fresh red berries.


Costellore Prosecco Rosé

11% ABV

€12.99 – Available at Aldi

Prosecco Rose is very new, as the Italian bubbly has not traditionally had a pink variation. With the recent introduction of Pinot Noir as an allowed grape, the category expanded, and it’s this year when we’ll begin to see Prosecco Rose, possibly left, right and centre.

Expect a lively fizz with peachy notes, along with strawberry and apples. 


Whispering Angel

13.5% ABV

€25 – Available at O’Briens Wine, Wineonline.ie, Celtic Whiskey Shop, Whelehans Wines

The wine that embodies the trendy pale and delicate style that is so popular at the moment. Whispering Angel is made in the Provence region in France by Château d’Esclans, with a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Vermentino, Syrah and Tibouren.

It’s floral and refreshing, with a lovely balance of red fruit and blossom. 


Rós Rosé

13.5% ABV

€16.95 – Available at O’Briens Wine

This Spanish low-intervention rosado is a collaboration between O’Briens Wine Director Lynne Coyle and Navarra’ Bodega Tandem. It is made from sustainably farmed Garnacha grapes fermented using wild yeast. It is named after the Gaelic word for rose.

It is vibrant and medium-bodied, with aromas of ripe strawberries and cherries.


Mirabeau Côtes de Provence Rosé

13% ABV

€19.95 – Available at bradleysofflicence.ie, wineonline.ie

If you’re looking for a quintessential Provence rosé, this elegant blend of Cinsault, Grenach and Syrah will do the trick. It’s light-bodied and with a pleasant acidity, featuring aromas of pink grapefruits, raspberries and green apples.

Balanced and bright, it is a harmonious and lovely rosé made in a very sought-after style.


Château de Corcelles Beaujolais Rosé d’une Nuit

13.5% ABV

€18 – Available at Celtic Whiskey Shop

‘Rosé d’une Nuit’ is French for ‘one night rosé’, and the name refers to this wine’s vinification process (to keep the color pale, maceration is kept brief).

It is made from the region’s flagship grape, Gamay, and shares the smoothness and fruity character of its red counterpart, along with a subtle mineral character.


Wagner-Stempel Gutswein Rosé 2019

11.5% ABV

€19.99 – Available at martinsofflicence.ie, whelehanswines.ie, wicklowwineco.ie

This organic and vegan-friendly rosé comes from the Rheinhessen region in Germany, and it combines Merlot, Pinot Noir and St. Laurent. It is quite aromatic and its notes vary from juicy redcurrants and plums, to peaches and grapefruit.

It offers a lovely example of a style that’s a little different, slightly lighter in alcohol but with intense flavours and structure.

WRITTEN BY GABY GUEDEZ

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