Words: Pär Strömberg
Yet again, the season is upon us when your local Systembolaget fills up with pink bottles. But as the mercury rises those very shelves reserved for rosé look as empty as a Stockholm street in July – in 2014, the consumption of rosé rocketed and the 2015 prognosis talks of 16 million liters of the pink juice in Sweden alone. When you consider the relatively short Swedish summer, that’s a hell of a lot of pink wine.
But what could be more connected to the joys of summer than a glass of the light-pink shimmering drink in the sun on a lazy afternoon, when the hard, dark, heavy and cold winter is far a way and life has just taken a vacation from itself?
Not only is the quantity increasing – the quality is improving with it. Even if you don’t have to be too picky about what you pour into your glass (it’s only rosé after all) we have become more aware, and the larger volumes have led to a better price range, and the organic demand is also increasing.
Here in Stockholm the glasses and bottles of rosé popping up on the city’s terraces is a clear sign of summertime, and the delights of rosé are not hard to find. A walk down the city’s streets on a sunny summer day will yield plenty of places where you can get your daily dose of pink glasses.
Rosé prices are fairly reasonable compared to your standard house white or red, and you can rest assured that a properly-chilled rosé will have a lighter and better feel to it. The idea of hanging out in the sun with a cold glass in your hand is what is important, not necessarily what’s in the glass. You might also try a pink drink, a rosé shandy or ”dagens rosé” as most bars and cafes tend to call it.
For the uninitiated, rosé wine is in most cases not a blend of red and white wine – in fact it’s a white wine made of red wine grapes, where the skin of the grapes gets contact with the juice for a brief period. It also goes under the names rosado and rosato but it’s the French rosé that has become ubiquitous. The most famous ones are made from the Grenache grape but there are plenty of worthy challengers.
For the best effect, chill your rosé to 8-9 degrees Celsius and drink it straight from the fridge. Don’t buy for storage – the latest vintage it’s the best choice so drink it now.
Food-wise, rosé is not a big challenge. A glass in your hand next to the grill, as accompaniment to a lighter salad, or just with the summer snacks you have around – rosé will improve all those occasions..There are a few better options, but mostly it’s all good – salads, salmon, white fish, seafood, charcuteries, light meat from the grill, chicken and hot Asian food are all friendly lovers of rosé and it’s hard to go wrong.
The Perrin family also make a fabulous rosé wine under the ownership of Hollywood superstars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, a mix of grape and stardust that is hard to beat.
Last summer a few lucky souls got the chance to get their hands on a bottle of Brangelinas Miraval and on June 5 another allocation will find it’s way to this northern territory. If you are on your toes you might be one of the lucky ones this summer.
10 rosés that will make you smile:
Girasol Rosado EKO (nr 2250) Box 199 kr
The ecological choice for the summer, great new blend of this modern Spaniard. The taste of sunny Spain, oranges and strawberries. Perfect for the buffet at the birthday bash.
M de Minuty Rosé (nr 2590) 107 kr (half 60 kr, Magnum 249 kr)
Berries and elegance, very classy and pale, great for salads and light fish dishes.
Côtes du Rhône Rosé Calvet (nr 2219) 85 kr
A true rosé salmon-colored bomb, elegance with strawberries and herbs. Grilled fish and your sweetheart.
Mulderbosch Rosé (nr 6077) 79 kr (Magnum 179 kr)
Affordable from South Africa, Tutti Frutti candy and strawberries, a little sweet but popular.
Blason de Bourgogne La Réserve Rosé Brut (nr 7687) 99 kr
Great value burgundy crémant. Raspberries and a little maturity tone with your salmon perhaps.
Cuvée Madame Sélection des Demoiselles (nr 2203) 105 kr
Freshly pale and red fruit. Think chicken salad on the boat in a frisky wind.
Rotari Rosé (nr 7701) 109 kr (Magnum 219 kr)
The aperitif of aperitifs or with your assorted Italian charcuteries. Raspberries and biscuits anyone?
Miraval Côtes de Provence (nr 91242) 159 kr (release June 5)
Dry taste with great mineral and ripe red berries followed by citrus and herbs. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie under the wings of Famille Perrin – perhaps the best of the best this summer!
Puycheric Syrah Rosé (nr 2209) 75 kr (half 39 kr, box 199 kr)
Arbor wine, enjoy in the shade with your friends or seduce your spouse. Red apples and great price added to the value.
La Spinetta Il Rosé di Casanova (nr 90439) 119 kr
Winemaker rock star Giorgio Rivetti take on classic Provence, made in Tuscany, dry and simply awesome.