Wine expert Francis Peel has a rosé glow

PUBLISHED: 12:59 19 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:33 20 February 2013

Wine expert Francis Peel has a rosé glow

Wine expert Francis Peel has a rosé glow

Is everything in the garden rosé?

Is everything in the garden ros?

As we approach the height of summer, ros comes into its own. Though more and more pink is being drunk throughout the year, there is no doubt that long hot summer days and a bottle of chilled ros go hand in hand. The advent of the screw cap means somehow you go to the fridge to get a slice of Cheddar and lo and behold you have come back with a glass of ros! But beware, the pitfalls of ros buying are among the deepest in the world of wine right up there with red Burgundy. Here then are a few hints.

How to make bad ros
First, underestimate your consumers sophistication by assuming ou are catering for the bubble-head market who arent proper wine drinkers. Obviously you wouldnt want to waste your finest grapes on them so you can pass them off with those of somewhat dubious quality. After all you are going to add shed-loads of sugar so no-one will taste the difference anyway. Next, your marketing department creates a flash label and a zippy name preferably using the word blush (particularly apposite as deep down in your winemaking heart you are blushing anyway) and within months you are selling vast quantities. What is even better, it is a cash crop and you dont have to wait for the wine to age like you do with your reds. Everyone well almost everyone is happy.

How to make good ros
Take the proper ros makers vow that you are making a wine that you will be proud to drink yourself. Pick early to preserve acidity in the grapes. Leave your de-stemmed grapes overnight on the skins for a cold maceration to pick up a delicate colour. By using some of the free-run juice from different red tanks you will have the benefit of concentrating your red wines. Ferment off the skins at controlled low temperatures until the sugar is turned to alcohol, preserving the crisp fresh aromas of red berry fruits. You end up with a delectable dry ros that refreshes the palate and leaves you crying out for more rather than a sweet and cloying ros that screams pour me down the sink.

Domaine du Gouyat Bergerac Ros
Benchmark ros made by the Dubard family in the Dordogne. Addictive! 6.49 from Whitebridge Wines.

Cava Castillo Perelada Rosado
Good pink fizz is not always easy to find, certainly not at under 10 per bottle. We have however been shipping for some years the excellent Cava Castillo Perelada Ros (7.49) from a Catalan wine producer who received the ultimate accolade when it was chosen for the official reception drink for the wedding of Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.

Francis Peel is the owner of Whitebridge Wines.

The Dictionary of Wine Terms

H is for...

Hermitage: This small hillside appellation above the village of Tain lHermitage in the Northern Rhne region of France is famous for being the home of the Syrah grape, making rich perfumed wines that need some years to mature before drinking. The wines are normally of high quality and only a small amount is made, so prices are high. A small amount of white wine is made from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes.

Hogshead: Another name for a small oak barrel used to ferment or mature wines in.

Hock: A generic name for German wines normally from the Rhine region of Germany (as opposed to the Mosel). It is an English term that has been in use since the 17th century, and is thought to have derived from the village of Hocheim in the Rhinegau wine region.

Horizontal Tasting: This is the name for a tasting where the wines are all from the same vintage but are from different estates, as opposed to a vertical tasting where the wines are all from the same estate but from different vintages.

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