Days of Whites & Rosés: Discover the versatility of these easy drinking wines
  • Home  › 
  • Wine  › 
  • Days of Whites & Rosés: Discover the versatility of these easy drinking wines

Days of Whites & Rosés: Discover the versatility of these easy drinking wines

Written by
Vintage Cellars
February 14, 2019
Share Share to Instagram

Hold on to summer as long as possible with this delicious selection of aromatic, easy-drinking wines.

Summer’s heat is gradually losing its sting, as the days soften and ease into autumn. Not ready to make the leap into a new season? Why would you be when there are so many luscious, fragrant white wines and elegant rosés to enjoy? Especially when you can have them either on their own or with barbecued seafood, spicy, Asian-style salads or a late-summer treat of fresh prawns and oysters?

The weather is still perfect for entertaining outdoors, in the garden, at the beach or at a picnic - far more comfortable than in the searing heat of midsummer! - and these wines are perfect to enjoy with food, or simply served chilled on their own.

The white wines have it

There’s never a wrong time to enjoy an aromatic white wine and, with the increasing variety of styles to choose from, there’s something for every taste — and occasion. Riesling, pinot gris or grigio, sauvignon blanc and semillon are just a few of the varieties available that lend themselves perfectly to late-summer sipping, their fragrant aromas and bright flavours the ideal foil for easy, breezy food.

Choose your fragrance

There's a reason aromatic whites are so floral. The answer is terpenes, the chemical compounds found in flowers that release their fragrance. Some grape varieties contain higher volumes of these than others, and winemakers make full use of them through the fermentation process and by minimising the use of oak.

While varietals such as gerwürtztraminer, riesling, pinot gris or grigio, albariño and grüner veltliner are the most commonly known aromatic whites, sauvignon blanc also makes the grade, though more for its herbaceous notes than florals. At the lower end of the fragrance scale sits pinot gris or grigio, with its gentler aromas. In terms of flavour, these varieties range from intensely fruity and floral to dry and crisp, but all share an element of sweetness in varying degrees, particularly riesling.

Love at first blush

With a colour range spanning the palest apricot to deep pastel pink, rosé is a style that can be hard to pin down. As well as its broad spectrum of colours, the flavour profile of rosé (labelled rosato in Italy and rosado in Spain) can range from dry as a bone to verging on the sweet side. These variations depend on where the wine has been produced and which grapes have been used, as there are a number of grapes and combinations. From easy-drinking to seriously complex, rosé wine is as delicious served with food as it is as an apéritif.

A variety of varietals

The spiritual home of rosé (and number-one producer) is the Mediterranean region of Provence in south-east France, a place imbued with sunshine, warmth and sea breezes - no wonder Australian producers have such an affinity with it! Nearly 90% of Provence’s grape vines are dedicated to rosé production, and include grenache, mourvèdre and cinsault.

France’s Loire is also noted for its rosés, the best-known being Rose d’Anjou, produced using cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, with the region’s indigenous grape grolleau often also included in the blend.

In Australia, varieties might include tempranillo and nebbiolo, as preferred by acclaimed winemaker and rosé aficionado Julian Langworthy of Margaret River’s Deep Woods Estate, or a spicy grenache blended with, perhaps, a dash of shiraz, carignan or touriga. Pinot noir also makes great rosé, due to its prominent acidity and aromatics. So try a few styles to find out which you prefer — you’ll be spoiled for choice!

Thoughts for food

Don’t be fooled by the delicate good looks of whites and rosés; they can hold their own with a broad range of food. A bright pinot gris or grigio marries well with lemony flavours, while sauvignon blanc is an ideal partner for fried seafood. A fruity, zesty riesling is just made for Vietnamese flavours; while, depending on the style, rosé can take its place alongside anything from delicate fish to gamey kangaroo!