Phil Parker operates Auckland Fine Wine Tours and is a wine writer.
(Random dog picture. Has no direct relevance to article other than sniffing ability)
A few years ago, Rosés were extremely rare and largely undrinkable. However, in the last few years the shelves have been steadily filling with a number of very respectable light reds vinted from grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. And the really good thing is, in warmer weather you can chill many of them with a clear conscience.
Rosés are made by crushing red grapes, then leaving the juice on the skins for a short period (as little as 24 hours) to extract a minimum of colour and maximum grape juice flavours before pressing and racking off into fermentation tanks. The resulting wines are light, often blush pink and have red fruit flavours of strawberries, and raspberries. These are crisp, refreshing drink-young wines, which will not benefit from cellaring. They also come in a spectrum of sugar level from dry to medium sweet.
The sweeter Rosé styles can tolerate serious chilling before serving, but the more delicate dry to off-dry Rosé, could be cooled in the fridge for 30 minutes or so prior to serving.
Food matches – BBQ tuna, salmon, crayfish, prawns, chicken, crab, spiced rare lamb. Here comes summer! Whoo Hoo!