Provençal rosé is known the world over for its extraordinary taste and flavor. In fact, winemakers from Provence have been producing rosé in the region for centuries, adding hundreds of new rosé brands to wine shelves each year. To help us navigate through the countless store aisles of wine is wine expert and educator Paul Chevalier of Château d'Esclans, who shares his own advice to finding the perfect Provençal rosé wine.
Look for the Côtes de Provence Label
The easiest way to recognize a quality wine from Provence is by searching the bottle for a special Côtes de Provence appellation. This special notation on the label, also found on the bottles of all four of the rosés which are produced at Château d'Esclans, indicates the wine has undergone stringent wine-making processes required from rosé producers in the region. These same wine producers also happen to produce more than 30 percent of the world’s rosé supply.
The Proper Vintage
When searching for a good rosé, look for the latest vintage. “Unlike red wines, rosé wines generally do not improve with age,” says Paul. “Get a fresh bottle, one made within the last year or two, and enjoy it with friends over dinner that night. Preferably, a bottle of Whispering Angel. ”
Finding the Right Color
A rosé’s color is defined by the amount of time its juice remains in contact with the skin of its grapes. “I like to think of this process much like soaking a tea bag in water,” says Paul. “The longer the skin of the grapes soak in their juice, the darker the wine becomes and the more bitter it tastes. I happen to like still, pale, and drier rosés that have minimal skin contact such as the ones we produce at Château d’Esclans.”
Think About Pairings Before Going to the Store
Nowadays, rosé is featured in nearly every restaurant across America, and for good reason: it pairs well with a multitude of foods. “Our rosé at Château d’Esclans is versatile enough to compliment sushi, and Asian fusion,” says Paul. “Of course, you can also pair with light and traditional French fare, but it stands very well alongside barbecue, too.”