Anthony Rose: Since the long hot summer of 2003, rosé wines have taken off and never looked back

I knew that rosé had finally arrived during the long, hot summer of 2003, as my overheated car and I limped wearily into Bordeaux.

On every table of every bar and café I saw stood a bottle of Bordeaux rosé in an ice bucket. In an instant the world's biggest red wine region seemed to be quenching its thirst with pink as if there were no other colour. Since that torrid summer, rosé wines have taken off like a rocket and never looked back. There are good reasons why pink is the new black.

Since the New World came knocking on our door 20-odd years ago, we've learnt to enjoy wine as just another drink with none of the old snobbery once attached to it. At heart, rosé is an excellent drink and often pretty good value compared to red or white. It's the perfect al fresco wine, the faintest shaft of sunlight being enough to get us lighting the barbie and spilling out on to the streets to lap up sun and pink wine.

Because it's best drunk chilled, rosé also goes brilliantly with spicy Asian food that is too hot for reds to handle. Finally, rosé has shed its naff image and become fun.

While traditionally rosé was the preserve of Provence, Spain and Italy, the New World has profited most from the latest craze. California alone contributes 49 in every 100 bottles of rosé we drink, much of it, from the likes of Blossom Hill, Gallo and Echo Falls, off-dry. Brands, which account for more than half of rosé sales, include South Africa's First Cape and Namaqua, Chile's Isla Negra, an Australia's Jacobs Creek.

While brands have their place, however, there's a lot more individuality in today's rosé. As winemakers take on board the benefits of taking it seriously, rosés are being made not just as an afterthought, but as serious wines in their own right.

Provence can be hit-and-miss, but for a fine example of the elegant dry style, the 2008 Château Sainte Marguerite Cru Classé rosé, Côtes de Provence, £9.99, Majestic, is an ideal aromatic, full-bodied accompaniment to salade niçoise. Similarly, the fine 2008 Château Fontvert, Les Restanques, £7.99, Oddbins, is a lovely fresh strawberryish blend of grenache and syrah whose intensity belies its pale salmon-pink hue. Pinot noir makes excellent dry rosé, classically from the Loire, whose 2007 Sancerre rosé Fournier, £8.99, Tesco, is typically elegant, while the lively berryish quality of the 2008 Petit Duc rouse, £9.99, Oddbins, contains delicious summer-pudding fruit and the tangy, 2008 La Grille Pinot Noir rosé, £5.99, buy 2 = £5.49, Majestic, shows its value side.

Speaking of value, Spain delivers with the juicy strawberry-like 2008 Las Falleras 2007 rosé, £3.99, Marks & Spencer, and the juicy Gran Tesoro Garnacha, £3.49, Tesco, both ideal summer-sipping party rosés. France can do value too, especially from the south, with delicious pinks like Chateau Cazal Viel's elegantly raspberryish, crisp dry 2008 Vieilles Vignes rosé, £6.99, Majestic, buy 2 = £5.99. Pink bubbles? Try the dry Langlois Crémant de Loire rosé, £12.99, or £10.99 until tomorrow, Oddbins, or spoil yourself with Ruinart rouse NV, £60, buy 2 = £39.99, Majestic, super-elegant, liquid strawberries and cream champagne. With so much good rosé around, and the anticipation of more sunshine to come, it could be a promising summer. anthonyrosewine.com

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas