Rosé Wines

Wine Basics / Grapes and Wine Styles

I like… rosé wines


Wine Basics Wine Basics

Popular grapes & regions

Other grapes/styles: syrah, cabernet sauvignon, mourvèdre, tempranillo, merlot, gamay, tannat

Popular Rosé Grapes


Where you'll find it: Most commonly in the Rhône, Provence and Spain



Style: Powerful, rich and fruity.

Food: Summer salads and grilled vegetable dishes, particularly if they also feature seafood.

Drink it here: A Friday night tapas party with friends.

View our wines


Where you'll find it: Languedoc and southern Rhône


Summer Berries
Summer Berries

Style: Aromatic and refreshing.

Food: Pre-dinner nibbles like charcuterie or crostini topped with smoked salmon paté.

Drink it here: As a delicious aperitif.

View our wines

Pinot noir

Where you'll find it: The Loire and new world countries like New Zealand, plus in rosé Champagne.


Citrus Zest
Citrus Zest

Style: Delicate, elegant and refined.

Food: Fresh salmon steaks or ham hock salad.

Drink it here: Summer weekends with friends.

View our wines


Where you'll find it: Corsica, Italy and increasingly new world countries, especially Australia.


Red berry
Red berry

Style: Pale and interesting, and very food-friendly.

Food: Caprese salad, herby olives or even a rich chicken or fish curry.

Drink it here: A garden party with a full-flavoured buffet.

View our wines

Other grapes and styles

Syrah rosé: In the Rhône and Languedoc, the syrah grape is often used in blends alongside cinsault, grenache and mourvèdre, producing full-flavoured, highly versatile rosés which work well with Middle Eastern tagines. Also increasingly used on its own in the New World to make focused, spicy pinks.

Cabernet sauvignon rosé: Most commonly made in Bordeaux, producing deeply coloured rosé, robust enough to partner rich local dishes like confit duck.

Mourvèdre rosé: usually blended with other grapes. In France, it reaches great heights of sophistication in Bandol making wines that are light in colour but with real body and personality which matches Provençal cooking's garlic, aromatic herbs and super-ripe vegetables.

Tempranillo rosé: In the Rioja region, tempranillo makes herbaceous and strawberry-scented pinks.

Merlot rosé: Used to make Bordeaux rosé, sometimes blended with cabernet sauvignon. Aromatic and juicy, rosé merlots are particularly good with cold cuts and meaty pâtés.

Gamay rosé: Usually used on its own in Beaujolais or the Auvergne. Delightfully fruity, gamay rosé can be good with light desserts.

Tannat rosé: the great bruiser of Madiran country may hold records for mouth-puckering tannin, but it turns into a pussycat when made into rosé.

Popular Rosé Regions


Provence rosé

The spiritual home of rosé draws inspiration from several varieties. Most contain cinsault, grenache and syrah, while the better ones will include mourvèdre and cabernet sauvignon is also allowed in some areas. A little-known grape called tibouren is also used. These have the oomph to cope with garlicky aïolis or chunks of beef and red pepper skewered on sprigs of fresh rosemary, and are so much more refreshing than a red on a hot day.


Corsican rosé

In tandem with the local sciaccarellu grape, the nielluccio grape, related to Tuscany's sangiovese, makes exquisite rosés on this ruggedly beautiful island, demonstrating that depth of blush is not necessarily an indication of strength. Despite being pale in colour, Corsican rosé is utterly fearless in the face of a herb-encrusted sheep's milk cheese, robust black pudding or similarly hearty sausage, especially Mediterranean varieties.


Italian rosé

The chiaretti of Bardolino and Piedmont in northern Italy can make delightful quaffing, but going south, Italian rosato wines take on deeper colour and are full of flavour and good fruit. This makes them ideal with garlic-dressed salads, Mediterranean fish like snapper and sardines and all sorts of antipasti.


Spanish rosé

Navarra, next door neighbour of Rioja, is rosado central, producing lovely, digestible wines from garnacha, with and sometimes without tempranillo. This region is also one of Spain's best market gardens, so think globe artichokes, asparagus, piquillo peppers, and perhaps a spicy dipping sauce of fruity olive oil and smoked hot pimentón to dunk them into. The versatility of these high-octane rosés also makes them excellent partners for the diversity of tapas dishes.

How is rosé made?

There are three main methods used to make rosé wine:

Traditional method

Rosé gets its colour from the skin of red grapes. The traditional method is by short ion after crushing the grapes a day or two before the skins are separated from the wine.

The 'saignée' (bleed) method

The colour still comes from the grapes' skins, but in this method tanks of lightly crushed red grapes are 'bled' (saignée in French) after a day and the free-run juice produces a rosé wine.

Blending red and white wines

Mostly used in the Champagne region, and not generally permitted elsewhere.

Rosé food and wine matching

A chilled glass of rosé is delicious on its own but many are better still with food, working well with fish, grilled meats or vegetables. They are fearless in the face of tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, chilli, salad dressings and even eggs. They love the outdoors and are irrepressibly convivial. Fuller-bodied styles can cope with roasts and grilled meat and fish; just off-dry rosés are remarkably good with mildly spicy cooking and the cheese course. Sweeter rosé wines can partner pastries and fruit tarts well.

Want more inspiration?

Sign up for a carefully-curated selection of recipes, guides, in-depth expertise and much more.

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.


4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies: Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.