The arrival of summer is great way to get excited about Rosé. Forget about cheap Californian Blush that is a raging headache waiting to happen, or sickly sweet versions that sprout up everywhere this time of year. Although popular with the masses, these examples are the reason why most people are reluctant to try better quality Rosés. It is somewhat thought of as a lesser quality wine, and most of the time overlooked by consumers. It can provide a great alternative to lighter style reds, or for those who don’t what really crisp whites.

Among wine producing countries, the one having the longest and most important tradition in the production of rose wines is probably France, especially in the South where this style of wine widely appreciated. Who can mistake that pale silver-pink colour that typifies a Provençal rose for anything else. Roses from this region would be some of the lightest styles available. Chateau Leoube 2009 is a favoutite with the JN Taste Team right at this very moment.

Moving on down through the Spanish regions my favourite is without a doubt the 100% Garnacha versions from Navarra. At the moment I cannot get enough of Juan Carlos Lopez de la Calle’s Artazuri Rosado 2009. Just looking at the the dark vibrant pink colour literally makes my mouth water! On the palate it is ripe, full flavoured with crushed red fruits. Try with roasted pork dishes.

So do it like the Mediterraneans this summer. Get the summer furniture dusted down, fill the table full of foodie treats, and get a bottle of GOOD rosé out of the fridge.