Is it even summer if you’re not enjoying a glass of rosé wine? Its versatility, light and fresh taste and feel means it pairs well with mostly all summer food while quenching your thirst with a refreshing, cool drink to enjoy.

I have not always been a fan of rosé wine. I thought it was like sitting on the fence for someone who couldn’t make their mind up whether they liked white or red wines. Silly I know, I misunderstood it and I think a lot of people still do. However, that’s definitely changing as a wave of new appreciation for this wine variety has washed over the globe in recent years; mostly due to the fact that there are now exceptional examples of rosé wine, with its pink hue and delicate flavours, available at really reasonable prices.

To begin with, rosé wine is made from a variety of grapes, including but not limited to grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, cinsault, and sangiovese. The grapes are typically harvested earlier than those used for red wines, allowing for less colour extraction from the grape skins. This shorter period of skin contact results in the pale pink colour that rosé is known for.

One of the key characteristics of rosé wine is its wide range of flavours. Depending on the grape varietals used and the winemaking techniques applied, the taste profile can vary from dry and crisp to slightly sweet and fruity. Some rosés offer notes of red berries, citrus fruits, and flowers, while others may showcase flavours of melon, peach, or even tropical fruits. This diversity in flavour makes rosé an incredibly versatile and enjoyable wine choice.

For Neven’s gorgeous summer dinner party recipes, I’ve chosen three rosé wines that will pair perfectly with either course.

Minuty Prestige Rosé, available in a selection of independent off-licences nationwide

< Minuty Prestige Rosé, €28

Château Minuty’s cuvées express long summer evenings in Provence – you can just picture yourself in France sipping this beautiful rosé. Château Minuty is one of the last estates in the Côtes de Provence where grapes are harvested entirely by hand. Minuty Prestige Rosé (RSP €28) is a very fragrant wine on the nose, with a variety of fruit from yellow grapefruit to white currant, with hints of blood orange and fresh raspberry. To taste, this wine is a very clean, citrusy flavour that makes it a beautiful pairing for fish like the crab in Neven’s salad dish.

Available in a number of independent wine stores nationwide.

Un Jour Un Rosé from Centra

Un Jour Un Rosé VDF, €10

Wines We Love is a bespoke wine collection created by Centra’s experts featuring 10 seasonal wines of the best value and quality to choose from. Un Jour Un Rosé is a punchy, pale pink French rosé that boasts flavours of red fruits followed by floral notes, such as violet and rose. This is calling to be paired with Neven’s baked chicken and chorizo with artichokes as the punchy red fruit flavours will work so well with the exciting flavours of the chorizo, while the floral notes compliment the mellow chicken and artichokes in the dish. I equally love drinking this wine by itself, it’s so tasty, or while grazing a cheese board.

Available from Centra’s Wines We Love collection (select stores nationwide)

Chateau de Brene Cuvée Rosé, Dunnes Simply Better

Château de Berne Cuvée Rosé, Côtes De Provence 2020, €17.99

Another beautiful rosé from Provence in France. This wine is made from a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah, giving it rich and refreshing stoney fruit flavours; think apricots and peaches blended with milder touches of floral and herbal notes and a nice acidity on the finish. A great match to Neven’s crab, avocado and mango salad, but equally with Neven’s ?banoffee ice cream sundaes as the toffee flavours from the dulce de leche are a fab match for the stoney fruit and the acidity of the wine works well with the sweetness of the dessert.

Available from Dunnes Simply Better nationwide.