A good rosé will always set you on the right note for an evening embracing the sea.

Provence in France has built a marvellous reputation as being the home of delicate, sophisticated rosé but for this meal I am venturing beyond the fields of France to its neighbour, Spain.

In Spain, with the sun high in the sky, the days are hot producing grapes that have a little more sweetness.

You’ll find rosé made with the tempranillo grape produces wines which are rich and fruity with good body. This is exactly what I was looking for with this food and wine pairing.

Because Neven’s prawn dish has a bit of complexity with the piri piri spices and chorizo, the two Spanish rosés that I chose have a firm structure to stand up these flavours. It will also work well for the tuna.

I just love a tuna steak and chardonnay. On a warm spring evening, it is just perfection. Because it’s a meatier fish, tuna can handle the more robust flavours of chardonnay and if serving seared and rare on the barbecue, it works well with an oaky chardonnay.

However, oaky chardonnays aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so for this pairing I’ve opted for a Chilean chardonnay which is quite light on oak, imparting the flavours delicately. Australian chardonnays love a good oak ageing but given divisive opinions, they have toned down their love of wood slightly. If you are just not into oaked chardonnay then look towards France for your dinner party and if you have the budget, a fine chablis would also be a very fine pairing.

Marques De Caceres Rose

Dunnes Stores, €12.50 | On special offer at €10

Located in La Rioja, Marques De Caceres is a well-established vineyard that has been making excellent wines for four decades. This is one of their traditional wines and it is made exclusively from the red tempranillo grape. They use the free-run sangrado method which is less contact with the skins when the rosé is being made. This means it has a pretty pale strawberry colour and has some fresh floral notes. However, the rich fruit flavours of strawberry and raspberry shine through with a pleasant fullness accompanied with citrus notes which give a little acidity. It has a firm structure and even a hint of tannin on the finish. As well as our prawns, this would also work great if hosting a tapas night or serving paella.

Rós Rosé

O’Briens Wine | €16.95

O’Briens Wine has a serious commitment to rosé, so much so their wine director Lynne Coyle developed their Rós Rosé with Bodega Tandem in Navarra in Spain, using traditional Navarra wine-making techniques. It’s made on an artisanal scale so you’ll only find it in O’Briens, but it’s worth making the trip as it is such a food-friendly wine. You’ll pick up vibrant strawberry and raspberry fruit flavours complimented by refreshing acidity which gives it that all important balance that makes it so fruit friendly. Take some time to appreciate its long, dry finish. Again this works great with tapas, and is great with the piri piri prawns but also will carry you through the next course of tuna niçoise.


Tesco Finest Valle De Leyda Chardonnay | Tesco, €12

Valle de Leyda is fast becoming one of Chile’s most recognised wine regions for producing very good chardonnay. Because of its location on the coast, the climate is perfect for ripening grapes that are brimming with tropical fruit flavours. This shines through in this bottle where apple flavours are complemented by melon and pineapple. A proportion of the wine is aged in French oak which give it a little oomph and structure as well as those delicious vanilla notes without overpowering the fruitiness of the wine.

Chardonnay Australia

Lidl | €7.69

For those that love a buttery chardonnay, this is a good-value wine to try. It comes from southeastern Australia where the hot temperatures create rich wines. Thankfully, the oak ageing isn’t too overt, which is becoming a welcome characteristic of modern Australian chardonnays. Green apple and tropical flavours form the fruit foundation, elevated by the vanilla and butter flavours of the oak. It’s simple but robust with good body that will also work well with the piri piri prawns.

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