Rosé wines are becoming increasingly popular all year round and that was even before Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt put their money in Château Miraval, their summer home in Provence where rosé dominates the wine scene. Fruity cool refreshment, a desire to conjur up long sunny days and growing wine consumption amongst women may be just some of the reasons for this universal trend.
While pink is the colour most commonly associated with rosé wines the spectrum can extend all the way to salmon, orange and pale red. Every major wine region has its own expression of rosé, usually made with a signature local grape. Some classic examples are Garnacha (aka Grenache) in Spain, Sangiovese in Tuscany, Zinfandel in California, Malbec in Argentina or Cinsault in Provence.
Switzerland can lay claim to its own distinctive style of rosé, Œil de Perdrix, which is a reference to its pale pink colour. Made exclusively from Pinot Noir its spiritual home is in canton Neuchâtel but all the French-speaking cantons are now permitted to use the same designation. The style is dry with fairly intense aromatics and a fruity palate of raspberry and cherry flavours. These elegant wines can be comfortably served with fish in sauce, salads such as salade Niçoise, grilled meats, cold meat dishes as well as Asian dishes like Bami Goreng.
As a general rule rosé wines are best drunk young within one or two years of the vintage. This lets you enjoy the natural fruitiness of this style of wine at its best before it starts to fade.
Recommendation: Château d’Auvernier – Œil de Perdrix (Neuchâtel)