Through Rosé Coloured Glasses

Ah summer. It's a time for sitting on patios, sipping on refreshing restorative beverages. A lot of us enjoy a crisp white wine during the warmer months but why not try a rosé wine next time when looking for something "restorative".

On several past trips to the south of France I stayed in a restored Abby in a small village just outside of Avignon named Villeneuve-les-Avignon. Every morning I'd take a small stroll on the cobble-stoned roads, taking in all the sights and sounds of this small village. On one side of the street, a shopkeeper sweeping the outside of her store, saying hello to passers by. On the other side, a beautiful smell coming out of the small bakery where a man is putting freshly baked croissants out for the morning. As I continue my walk, I walk past a series of brasseries that are open for morning coffee. It always amazed me that at 10am, many locals were sitting on patios drinking rosé. In North America, if a person were to drink before noon, I think they'd be passed an AA meeting card! The south of France has a special place in my heart. Not only is the south home to the wonderful red wines of Gigondas, Rasteau, Vacquereas and the famed Chateuneuf-du-Pape but it is also home to the famous rosé wine-making regions of Tavel and Lirac. Perhaps this is why I have a soft spot for the pink-coloured wine. It's a kind of staple in the south of France. That's just what you drink on a hot summer day. For those who dislike rosé wines, why not try a wine that's more full-bodied from the list below. You just might be surprised!

Rosé wines are made from red grapes (whether one variety or a blend of several varieties). They are left for a short time with skins during the wine-making process. This is why rosé wines are much lighter in colour than red wines. They vary from salmon pink to darker pink which can sometimes look almost red. Red wine is made from letting the grapejuice sit in contact with the skins, so the longer you let the skins have contact with the juice, the more colour will be extracted. A Rosé wine is nice if you want a wine that has characteristics of both red and white wines. It's a nice compromise. They have the cripness of white wine and the fruit flavours of red wine. Grenache is one of the most popular grapes to make rosé wine with. Rosé wines are best when served slightly chilled.

Stratus Wildass Rosé 2007 $19.95
Ontario, Canada
Wow! This is my favourite rosé of the summer. It's the Wine of the Month at the LCBO. It has a lot of beautiful aroma with the taste to match. It's quite full-bodied and juicey for a rosé wine...almost reminds me of my favourite Tavel wines. WildAss is a label by Stratus.

Muga Rosé 2008$12.95
Rioja, Spain
This wine is quite dry and enjoyable. It is a blended rosé from Rioja in Spain, a mix of Tempranillo and Grenache and Viura (white).

Malivoire LadyBug $15.95
Ontario, Canada
80% Cabernet Franc, 12% Gamay, and the remaining 8% other vinifera
I tried this wine a few months back and thought it was lovely. Cute label!

Peller Estates Rosé 2007 VQA$16.95
Ontario, Canada
This wine is not really this colour that you see in the picture! The wine in the picture looks like bubblegum pink. I assure you that this wine is deeper in colour and lovely on the palate.

Chateau D'Aqueria Tavel Rosé 2008 $19.95
Tavel, France
This was just delicious. Quite full bodied with lots of fruit and a long finish. yummy!
Also, this wine is from the Tavel region in France. You might want to drink this wine with some food because it is fuller bodied than a lot of the wines on this list.

I didn't want the page to go on forever so I eliminated the photos for the next get the idea-pinkish juice in a bottle. :)

Perrin & Fils Tavel Rosé $19.95
Perrin & Fils is a well-known producer of good, inexpensive wines. They always maintain a consistent level of quality. I found this wine not a full-bodied and complex as the d'Aqueria (the wine above) but it was still quite nice.

Mas des Bressades Cuvee Tradition Rosé 2008 $13.95
Southern France
I haven't tried this one yet but it is on my list of wines to try. It's from the Costieres de Nimes region in southern France. It's a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault grape varieties. Traditional southern French grapes.

Cave de Turchkehim Pinot Noir Rosé 2008 $16.95
Alsace, France
This wine has a lovely aroma. It's soft on the nose and in the mouth. Made of the pinot noir grape, it has a lot of juicy strawberry on the finish. mmm...

Rabl Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2008 $16.95
Nice aroma on this wine. I can't say that I enjoyed it as much as some of the others on the list. It's a light, salmon-coloured wine from Austria and made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.

Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé 2008 $12.50
Ontario, Canada
I really wanted to try this wine and now I can't seem to find it anywhere. Too bad! It looked pretty good.