The basic principles of food and wine matching, below, apply to rosés, just as they do to reds and whites. Use The Society's sweetness codes as a guide.
- Match wine and food weight for weight (think of it as a boxing match!)
- Ensure that acid levels match - 'sharp' ingredients need brisk wines
- Counteract salt and spice with sweetness
- Counteract bitter or sour ingredients with plump fruit
- Wines and ingredients from the same region are often an excellent match
- Most importantly, don't worry too much - there are few real disasters!
The black grapes in The Society's Saumur Rosé and Champagne Rosé Brut make them good choices for a wide range of savouries, even some cheeses. Gruyère works well, avoid blue or very strong Cheddar.
Starters, Salads and Picnics
For salty or spicy foods look for a slightly off-dry rosé like Three Choirs.
Tame tomatoes with the generous fruit of an Italian pink like Brindisi
Señorio de Sarria with the smoked paprika tang of chorizo illustrates the success of a regional match.
The Fish Course
A rosé from Sancerre or the surrounding villages such as Domaine de Villargeau is a match made in heaven with salmon, sea-trout, sardines, all oily fish which respond to dry, crisp wine.
A full-bodied Provence, Languedoc or Corsican rosé is delicious with richer, gamier fish like red mullet, sea-bream and Mediterranean seafood stews such as bouillabaisse or zarzuela.
Main Course Meat
Treat rosés as reds when choosing one for a meat course. Cabernet and pinot rosés seem to suit beef and pork very well while the Mediterranean grapes, notably syrah and grenache, are brilliant with lamb, especially if it's studded with rosemary and garlic. No rosé can cope with mint sauce.
On a warm day, a glass of chilled rosé is delicious with steak and salad. Try Château Bel Air or the Semeli Mountain Sun Rosé from the Peloponnese - delicious with grilled lamb and vegetables.
Sausages, from Cumberland to Toulouse or 'sec' are soulmates of rosé. It's almost impossible not to make a good match, but the ripe and faintly peppery flavours of the pinot grape from the Auvergne in our Puy de Dome Caves Saint-Verny Rosé work especially well.
Exotic marinades respond to the generosity of grenache-based rosés. Tavel, for example, is a meaty, flavour-packed rosé that copes splendidly with the spices in Middle-Eastern tagines.
Rosés are surprisingly good shock-absorbers for Indian spices and the tongue-tingling salinity of Chinese food, especially in chicken dishes. The best matches are very fruity and rounded rather than bone-dry and syrah/shiraz is a good grape choice.
Meat-free but strong on flavour and spicing, the best veggie food needs an upfront garnacha, such as Señorio de Sarria Rosado. It is delicious with red-pepper lasagne, stuffed aubergines or a summer timbale of roasted vegetables. The new Marselan Rosé from Domaine du Tariquet is a good all-rounder and lovely with stuffed peppers or aubergine timbales.
Nuy Red Muskadel is full-throttle dessert wine which is not only delicious with fruit tarts and fools, but even works with a mild and creamy blue cheese.
Tea-time in the garden
Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé with a bowl of properly ripe English strawberries is a delicious way to fly the flag.
Read the 'How to Buy... Rosé' guide >
Click to view The Society's selection of Rosés >