The best rosés hail from the Mediterranean regions of Provence and the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is de rigueur (fashionable) to have a glass of rosé as an aperitif or paired with the local cuisine. The culture of drinking dry rosé from France has grown in popularity stateside too, especially in the spring and summer.
The most coveted rosés come from Provence’s Bandol appellation, and there are plenty of salmon-hued pinks coming out of Côtes de Provence, Les Baux-des-Provence and Côteaux Varois. In Languedoc-Roussillon, Corbieres, Minervois and St-Chinian are appellations to look for.
The grape varieties used to make rosés from Southern France are Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan. There are two main methods to produce a rosé; the maceration method where crushed red-skinned grape skins, pits and stems remain in contact with the juice for a short period of time before being removed, and the saignée (bleeding off) method, where some of the juice is removed from red wine vats at an early stage, which is then fermented separately.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, stock up your fridge with some fantastic rosés; delicious, pretty pinks that won’t break the bank! Ask your local retailer today for rosé selections from France’s Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon regions.