Rosé Resurgence: The Ultimate Rose Wine Guide

Sarah Limacher

Wine Expert

Rosé is absolutely perfect for our climate and lifestyle here in Australia. The French and the Spaniards have been lounging around the beach with rose for years! Rosé should be all about delicious, casual, thirst quenching  ‘smashable’ goodness. It’s loaded with refreshing acidity which makes it perfect for picnics, the beach and the heat, its great for alfresco dining and is a super versatile food wine.


Also after years of awful sickly sweet lip gloss flavoured rosé, producers are taking the style seriously and not as an afterthought and producing fantastic, great value for money wines that suit any occasion. Rosé has an air of casuality and ease about it too, it should be for drinking not thinking about too much. Its best served in its youth and well chilled.

What exactly is rosé? 
Basically, rosé is a pink coloured wine (although rose can be apricot, rose gold, orange, fushia or violet in colour) made from red wine grapes, it uses skin contact (anywhere from a few hours to a few days) to extract colour from the skins and is made the style of a white wine.

What varieties can be used? 

Any red wine grape can be used to make rosé, some producers also blend red and white grapes together. Some popular varieties are Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Grenache, Sangiovese, the French use Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvedre in the great rosés from Provence but anything goes really!

Is it lighter in alcohol or calories? 

No, calories and alcohol levels in rosé are generally about the same … I have a joke that rosé doesn’t count towards my daily drink or calorie limit because I drink so much of it over spring and summer!

When do you like to drink rosé?

I love the versatility of rosé, its one of those wines that I take to girlfriends houses for a catch up, take it to the beach and summer barbeques and drink after work as a thirst quencher. I think rosé suits the sunshine perfectly and is great with casual foods like fresh prawns, prosciutto wrapped in melon, cured salmon and trout. It’s lovely with simple pork dishes, tapas and chacuterie boards.

Which regions in Australia are producing the best rosé?

Are there any other countries or regions that are renowned for rosé? The spiritual home of rosé is Provence in the South of France and a lot of rose is made in the Provence style which is dry and textural with a savoury edge. In Australia I look too the Yarra Valley, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills but great rosé is made everywhere! In New South Wales there’s some nice little wines coming out of Mudgee.


Here are my top 5 Aussie Rosé

Luke Lambert ‘Crudo’ Rosé 2015 – Yarra Valley, Victoria 
Join the mailing list to get your hands on this otherwise a couple of great bottle stores, online retailers and restaurants list it but we all scramble to get some! It is absolutely sensational (all his wines are ridiculously good) its made from Nebbiolo, Chardonnay and Syrah and totally nails the style. a nose of rose petal, spice, orange peels and white apricot, it has killer acid, funk and crunch and is a damn good drink.
Medhurst Wines Rosé 2015 – Yarra Valley, Victoria
Simon Steele and the team at Medhurst have pulled out a little cracker with this 2015 rosé. A blend of Shiraz and Cabernet I fell in love with it when it turned up on my tasting table last week. It has a lovely palate of crunchy and pristine red fruits, a little lick of cream and white peach and is dangerously drinkable.
Logan ‘Hannah’ Rosé 2015 – Orange, New South Wales
This always over delivers for the price and I can never go past it if I’m popping into the bottle store for something quick to grab on my way to a friends. It’s a blend of Pinot Meunier, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Gris and is like biting into a big juicy watermelon! Flavours of wild strawberry, sweet spice and raspberry all feature, always puts a smile on my face.
Bellwether Wines Nero D’Avola Rosé 2015, Riverland, South Australia
Sue Bell makes great wines. Simple as that and this rose is just delicious, I just wish she made more of it! Made from the native Sicilian variety Nero D’Avola this rose features gorgeous flavours of fresh rhubarb, watermelon and a hint of peppery spice. Perfect for when the temperature gage calls for something cold, refreshing and delicious.
Mon Tout Rosé 2014 by Richard Burch, Margaret River, Western Australia
Richard Burch has winemaking in his blood, his parents own and along with the rest of the family manage the famous Howard Park wines in Margaret River. This year rich has gone out on his own, producing a rose from a biodynamic vineyard site in Margaret River. Love the savoury edge to this rose, there’s some lovely spice notes, citrus and toastiness. Good job Rich!

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