News and views | More tips about matching rosé

News and views

More tips about matching rosé

I’ll be doing a major round-up on my trip to Provence next week buthere are a few more thoughts on matching rosé and food, an update of mylast overview

Just like any other type of wine rosé comes in different styles from the very pale wines I’ve been tasting over the last few days to deep-coloured wines which are more like a red. In both instances some will be dry and others less so.

  • If your rosé is very pale and dry like a Côtes de Provence you can treat it like a dry crisp white. That means that by and large it will go with raw and lightly cooked seafood and vegetables
  • If it’s dry but darker and more fruity such as rosés from the southern Rhone and Languedoc it will work with slightly more robust versions of those dishes: say grilled prawns or roast red peppers.
  • If it’s very dark indeed in colour such as many rosés you find from the New World the chances are it will be made from riper grapes and allowed longer skin contact which will make it taste stronger and sweeter. In this case you could treat it more like a fruity red. Barbecued meats would be an obvious pairing
  • If it’s light but medium-dry like a White Zinfandel or a Rosé d’Anjou it will lend itself well to lightly spiced dishes such as Chinese or South-East Asian food as well as fruity salads such as chicken with peaches or duck with fresh berries.

To take one specific example, tuna: If I were drinking a Provenal rosé I’d go for a classic salade Niçoise or raw or barely seared tuna. If I were drinking a more robust southern French rosé I’d be more inclined to serve it seared on a ridged grill pan with a salsa. I’d probably reach for a Chilean rosé if I’d put some kind of spicy rub on the tuna and cooked it on a barbecue and I’d go for an off-dry rosé if I'd given it a Thai-style marinade or glaze.

Or, thinking about another recipe, ratatouille: If I’d cooked it the traditional way for a long time with plenty of olive oil I’d go for a strong dry rosé from the Languedoc or Costières de Nîmes but if it had more contemporary spin and was based on some very lightly cooked Mediterranean vegetables, cooked for a shorter time in a light tomato sauce I’d reach for a light Provençal rosé.

What this trip to Provence has taught me is that if you’re serving one of these lighter, drier styles you don’t want to overwhelm them with powerful seasoning or heavy saucing. Which means that not all Provenal dishes will necessarily work! More on this next week.

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