Rosé is the wine of sunshine and warmer climes; it dines alfresco; it enjoys a holiday.

Rosé is made from red grapes which are left to rest or macerate in the juice for a period of time, usually between two to 12 hours. Provence rosé actually started life as a by-product of red wine. It was originally made by bleeding off the pale juice so that the rest of the tank would create a more concentrated red wine. This rosé was served to happy tourists during summer months.

Rosé comes in many different styles, but the epicentre of the rosé wine world is the South of France. Wines from Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon smell of strawberries and raspberries and are light, dry and refreshing. If you are looking for quality, seek out wines with a high percentage of Grenache, Syrah or Mourvedre versus Carignan or Cinsault.

A delicious aperitif, but with its light tannins and fresh acidity, Provencal rosé is brilliant paired with salads, light pasta and rice dishes as well as shellfish, grilled fish and goats’ cheeses. Perfect hot weather drinking!

Our favourite Provencal/Southern French rosés are the perfectly balanced Vin de Pays de Mediterranee from Chateau d’Astros, and from Chateau Gairoird the delicate, organic and ripe Cotes de Provence.

May the long time sun shine on us all!