Provence Rosé - To Ice or Not to Ice
Published by Ellen Doggett on 10/06/2020
As soon as the thermometer hits around 18C, and the sun creeps out from behind the clouds, it’s officially Provence rosé season. That lovely, pale, delicate pink wine that sparkles in the sunlight and keeps flowing all summer long.
What is it about Provence rosé that’s so captivating? Sprawling hills and sandy beaches, with lavender fields and garrigue herbs growing wild, Provence is a paradise of natural beauty. Its winemaking history stretches back to Roman times and has remained an important part of the region’s identity. However, the signature pale rosé we all love today has only been around since the mid 1980’s. It wasn’t an instant hit either, with producers such as our own Chateau Minuty fighting hard for it to be recognised as a legitimate style. Today their hard work has paid off, and Provence rosé is hugely popular with wine drinkers all over the world.
To get that signature pale pink colour, red grapes (such as Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault) are very lightly pressed, and left to macerate on their skins for a short period of time. Before the juice becomes too dark, it is filtered off and fermented into a dry wine. The result is a fresh, fruity and delicate style of rosé that pairs well with light, summery dishes or simply sipped in the sunshine.
But despite being universally loved, there is a big controversy surrounding Provence rosé. One so polarising, that it seems to have even the best of friends divided.
Provence Rosé: TO ICE? OR NOT TO ICE?
Everyone seems to have an opinion on how you should serve Provence rosé, but which way is right?
We decided to ask some of our top Roberson rosé drinkers to weigh in, to find out once and for all whether to ice this iconic pink drink.
Simon Huntington: Commercial Director
“Look, there’s nothing morally wrong about adding ice to your Provence rosé. Chucking in a couple of cubes is not a major crime on a par with wearing white socks with black shoes, or drowning a puppy.
“But it is definitely going to impair your ability to appreciate the full character of the wine in your glass. Provence rosé is typically delicate, with subtle flavours that will be finished off by chilling too severely, not to mention diluted into oblivion by the melting glacier in your glass.
“If you really love to drink your rosé ice cold, that’s fine. But why not keep the ice in the bucket where it belongs, not in the lovingly-crafted wine in your glass.”
Jack Green: Digital Retail Manager
“It's high summer. You're on the top deck of a yacht, floating aimlessly around the Cote d'Azur wondering which port to dock at next. Perhaps St-Tropez to stock up on the local tipple, Chateau Minuty. Whilst pondering, your friend offers an ice-cold glass of pale pink Provence rosé. As it glistens in the sun you decide to cool down with a quick dip in the Mediterranean.
“Imagine the pain! You return to find your cold glass of rosé is now lukewarm; seemingly ruined by the beating summer sun. What to do? Chuck the contents overboard and demand a fresh glass? Of course not! As any experienced rosé drinker will know, all it takes is a couple of ice cubes and that lovely pink wine is back down to a perfect temperature. Plus, it will maintain that temperature for you, whilst you go for another dip in the bright blue waters. Phew!
“Or, maybe we should crash back to reality. Like me, you might well be sipping your rosé on lockdown, in a tiny London flat with no air conditioning. No dip in the ocean, but a humble ice cube in my glass cools me down just fine!”
Ellen Doggett: Trade Sales
“The chaps have weighed in, and their opinions are appreciated, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. To ice or not to ice Provence rosé? The correct answer is simply whichever serving method YOU like best.
“Before joining Roberson, I was a sommelier for many years. I worked in some very fancy restaurants and heard many opinions about the temperature wine should be served at. The thing that we often forget, however, is that regardless of what is ‘proper’, the correct temperature to serve any wine is simply how the guest (you) would like it.
“Drinking wine is all about enjoying yourself, and if you prefer your wine with lots of ice, or don’t, there is nothing wrong with that. Life is too short not to drink wine exactly as you like it. So this summer, you are allowed to ignore what others tell you, and drink your glass of Provence rosé with as much or little ice as you like!”
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