The pink ladies....

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Grease is my favourite ever film. Grease #1 of course, #2 should never have been made. I watched it over and over again when I was younger and could probably still recite 80% of the script and 100% of the lyrics. Sandy was too much of a goody two shoes for me but Rizzo was a different story. She was the ultimate pink lady. She went for the bad guys, she ran her pack, she smoked (there was a time when that was cool!) and she was the girl at school that everyone wanted to know, and everyone wanted to be.

In the wine world France has long been the girl at school that everyone wants to be. For whites the world’s Chardonnay producers sit in awe of Chablis, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot producers stalk the moves of Bordeaux châteaux, sparkling wine producers look up to the marketing greatness of Champagne and then there’s rosé..... who started the rosé revolution anyway? Contrary to what you might think, California (Gallo, Blossom Hill et al.) cannot take credit, the flag is planted firmly in the south of France, Provence to be exact. You might not believe me at first but Provence is home to the only rosé research centre in the world which to me speaks volumes of their leading expertise. The centre performs scientific research and experimentation on rosé wines to gain a better understanding of the best terroir and techniques for making and conserving rosé wines, so they must know a thing or two.

Rosé de Provence wines are instantly recognisable by their pale pink or salmon orange hue, a sign of the dry and fresh elegant French style they produce that are the extreme opposite in colour and taste of the giant North American brands. As I touched on in my last article ‘In the pink’ the shade of pink a winemaker produces is vital to the saleability of a rosé, it being the most notable indicator to consumers as to the style of wine in the bottle. As a rule of thumb light pink = dryer style, darker pink = fruity, rich and more likely to be sweet.  There is no denying the success of the big pink sugar bombs but for something a little less Sandy-sweet and a lot more Rizzo-cool rosé de provence is the wine girl everyone wants to be, there’s even a rosé revolution going on in Australia to prove it!!

Two pink ladies for your summer lovin’:
Cuvée Aix Rosé 2011, Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence has aromas of summer-camp marsh mellows, refreshing yellow grapefruit and ripe Italian lemon characters on the palate. Chilled well and served in a magnum this is the perfect way to style it out wine-wise at summer BBQ’s and parties! £19.99 for a magum from Majestic.

Château d’Ollieres 2011, Côteaux Varois du Provence £9.50 from Vagabond Wines has the fruitiness of a raspberry and the freshness of a pink grapefruit, a true pink lady. Drink with crab starters, prawn cocktail or vegetarian dishes.