A wine style that has become an archetype is Provence-style rosé, which also are my favourite pink wines. What I love most is that they are all about nuance. The colour is delicately pink, and the aromas are of distant fruits, flowers and herbs.
But lighter colour does not necessarily mean a light wine. Provence rosés have surprising length, which makes them perfect for drinking while eating. They won’t handle a steak, but as a match for nearly any seafood, vegetarian dish, salad, especially tomatoes, they are ideal because of their acidities.
The key is to let them warm a bit. These are made with red grapes, so if you serve them too cold, you won’t get the benefit of the aromatics and flavour. Start them cold, around 8C, when you want to drink them as an apéritif. But if you are eating, let the bottle warm to 10-12C and the textures and flavours will be at their peak.
Coteaux Varois en Provence 2015, Château La Lieue, France rosé, $17.30, SAQ # 11687021. Organic. After a slight dip in ripeness in 2014, La Lieue is back as one of the best rosés available under $20. A model of finesse and nuance, with floral notes, melon and stone fruits. Acidity is there, hidden under a suave and comfortable texture. Nothing more to say about this than: try it. Residual sugar 1.3 g/L. Serve at 10C. Drink now-2017. Food pairing idea: Apéritif, shrimp brochettes, grilled salmon.