In Food + Drink

Rosé Revolution, Featuring The Rise Of Unexpected Food Pairings

Known as rosé in France, rosado in Spain, rosato in Italy and blush wine in the US, pink wine is a lot more than just pretty, fun and fresh.

While once regarded as liquid fairy floss, a new wave of rosés are made in a drier style and are regarded as among the most food-friendly wines around.

Australia’s love affair with pink wine shows no sign of waning, with these pale, dry styles a consistent favourite for summer refreshment. And while they make for a delightful post-work tipple with friends, rosés can also be paired with a wide range of cuisines.


Image: Kevin Kelly / Unsplash

Here are six foods you might not have thought to pair rosé with:

Lebanese dishes

Head into a traditional Lebanese restaurant, and you’ll find rosé the chosen wine-pairing for not only dips like hummus and baba ghanoush, but also grilled meats, flatbreads and pickles.

Try Chapel Hill 2019 Sangiovese Rosé: Chapel Hill in McLaren Vale is a label synonymous with good-value drinking, and this new release is a case in point. Pale, light, dry and textural, it boasts infectious cherry notes with raspberry and wild strawberry flavours on the palate. Nicely structured with fine tannins, this could easily be a ‘two-bottle’ wine over a long lunch.

Picnics and salads

Image: Anna Guerrero / Pexels

Pop into a truck stop in the south of France, and you’ll find burly, tattooed drivers matching a carafe of dry Provencal rosé with a Salad Nicoise. The French know a thing or two about wine and food matching.

Try Golden Grove Estate 2019 Rosé Brosé: A lip-smacking good dry and savoury rosé from the Granite Belt in Queensland that is a blend of shiraz, sangiovese and grenache grapes. Part barrel-fermented in old oak, this is pale and delightfully balanced between power and elegance.

Spicy Indian food

In Indian eateries, you’ll discover sweeter styles of rosé that match well with seriously spicy curries, while drier styles are a match made in heaven for vegetarian appetisers like onion bhajis or samosas.

Try Wolf Blass 2019 Maker’s Project Pink Pinot Grigio: An experimental release from the normally staid Wolf Blass stable. This first release features the use of free-run juice, direct from the press, which promotes crisp fruit notes and brisk acidity. This has the purity to match with strongly spiced dishes with its zesty green stone fruit characters. Pure refreshment.


Image: Lavi Perchik / Unsplash

More substantial rosés pair brilliantly with Mediterranean flavours like olives, anchovies, garlic, and hard cheeses; and dishes like savoury pasta, pizza and paella. Rosé is also a perfect choice with finger food and small plate dishes like tapas and mezzes plates – and a range of fish dishes.

Try Brokenwood 2019 Nebbiolo Rosato: Made using fruit from Beechworth in the alpine country of north-east Victoria this is salmon coloured and floral; very feminine in style and best enjoyed chilled in its youth. Pair with pan-fried red mullet.

Gourmet hamburgers

With burgers increasingly featuring exotic ingredients like cornichons, jalapenos and spicy condiments, a pale rosé can offer a refreshing counterpoint to the strong flavours. Chicken and lamb burgers go particularly well with a dry, spicy rosé.

Try Bird on a Wire 2018 Rosé: A richer colour than many of its counterparts, this is made from pinot noir grapes in the cool Yarra Valley by talented Caroline Mooney. Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed and matured on skins, this is thoroughly modern in style and delightfully savoury.


Image: Anita Austvika / Unsplash

Sweeter rosés are often brighter in colour – from hot pink to pale and savoury. although most of the popular styles are dry or off-dry (containing only mild sweetness), with the majority extremely dry. Those sweeter styles, including variations like Moscato, can pair well with Greek or Middle Eastern puddings like baklava.

Try Yalumba 2018 Block 2 Grenache Rosé: Made from gnarly old bush vines in the Barossa Valley, this copper-coloured rose has been wild fermented and offers delicate cherry blossom aromas and restrained tropical fruit notes alongside hints of spice. Vegan-friendly, as well. Pair with a strawberry shortcake tart.

(Lead image: Pexels) 

Published 08 October, 2019