How to choose rosé: advice from our sommelier
At what temperature should rosé be enjoyed? What vintage should be served as an aperitif or to accompany a meal? With the arrival of summer days, our sommelier and head of La Cave Rive Droite Benoit Cornillault gives you advice on how to make the best choice. Also try our two favourite vintages, online and in our two stores.
How is rosé made?
There are two main methods of products, direct pressing and saignée.
During direct pressing, the grape skins are little in contact with the grape juice. As a result the wine is clear, light and delicate.
The saignée (French for bleeding) method, consists of macerating the skins with the juice for longer, between one or two hours and several days. This gives a wine with a darker colour. It is more structured on the palate. Everything depends on the wine-grower’s style, but also your preferences and the occasion.
Is rosé a typically French wine? Are there other great producer countries?
The vineyards of Provence remain the reference in the world of rosé. The Côtes de Provence appellation is thus the most well-known and sold. It is generally made with a blend of several grape varieties. Among the most well-known are Cinsault, Grenache Noir and Mourvèdre; the last of these bringing more structure and aromas of well-ripened fruit.
Whilst France may be the largest producer in the world, it is not the only one.
It is also produced by Spain, the United States and, above all, Italy, with renowned appellations like Lacryma Christi DOC from Naples or the Bardolino Chiaretto DOC from Veneto.
At what temperature should rosé be enjoyed?
Rosé is usually enjoyed very chill. It is particularly enjoyed in summer, as soon as the summer sun makes its debut.
The risk is serving it too cold, because cold has a tendency to reduce its range of flavours. We generally recommend serving at between 9 and 10 degrees. A gastronomic rosé, that is to say, one that is more structured, may be drunk at between 10 and 12 degrees. In any case, ice-cubes are prohibited because they dilute the wine as they melt.
Traditionally served as a summer aperitif, can rosé also accompany a meal?
Direct pressed rosé is enjoyable all year round. it makes a perfect aperitif. It can accompany light, refined meals like salads, seafood or fresh cheese.
Saignée rosé is more structured and stronger on the palate. It can be drunk young or laid down for up to four years, while the aromas develop.
It therefore goes well with more strongly flavoured dishes, like barbecues or couscous.
What are your two favourite vintages at La Grande Épicerie de Paris?
I would recommend La Cuvée Le Saint André 2018 by Domaine Figuière. Organic since 1979, it produces rosés that are mostly Mourvèdre. Their wines are light and complex with a lovely, saline finish. They can be enjoyed as an aperitif, with shortbread or toast with fish rillettes, for example. The Cuvée des Commandeurs 2018, by Château Peyrassol is also one of the great rosés of Provence. This estate, founded by the Knights Templar of the Middle Ages, maintains an ancient culture of wine-making. Theirs is a fruity, delicate rosé to be enjoyed with savoury spreads or cold vegetable mezzes.