Rosé Wine and Food Pairing – Perfect Matching
Rosé is often seen as an aperitif or barbecue wine, suited to a sunny day more than any particular food. Apart from being the on-trend, wine of the moment, it’s actually a very versatile food pair. Rosé can often do the job where a red or white might be lacking. Here are some suggestions for pairing with your dry rosé, from light-bodied to slightly fuller and classically floral.
You’ve been there – happily enjoying a spicy dish as your palate pleasantly overheats, and you need a little refreshment from that chilli. Yet you take a sip of wine and the spell is broken. Too much tannin, acid or sugar in a wine can enhance that chilli too much, or wash it away. Rosé hits the sweet spot of being refreshingly textural, with subtle flavours that balance spice without clashing.
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There is a rich tradition of cuisine from the South of France, blending produce from the Mediterranean sea and countryside with fragrant herbs and fresh flavours. The classic rosé pairing is with Niçoise salad, a light but flavoursome and gently oily dish that highlights all the charms of rosé. There are also richer soups and stews, like ratatouille and bouillabaisse, which work with the fuller styles like a Bandol rosé. Chevre cheese, olive tapenade, anchovy and saffron are other classic flavours that are enhanced by a sip of rosé.
There is something about the in-between texture of a rosé that harmonises with the brininess of seafood, particularly shellfish and crustacean. The gentle red berry, melon and floral aromas broaden and tease out the salty flavours of seafood. The soft, oily texture of a medium-bodied rosé provides a nice backdrop for the unique textures of shellfish, particularly soft-shell crab and prawns.
Warm-climate cuisines: Mexican, Thai or Greek
These cuisines may not have a rosé wine tradition, so its more common to see other drinks associated with them. However they all strongly incorporate the previous mentioned matches: fruit, spice, herbs, seafood – resulting in a perfect matching for a textural, aromatic wine. You might find that the same bottle of rosé matches perfectly with a classic Thai Green Curry; Habanero, Lime and Shrimp Tacos; or Stuffed Capsicum Gemista.
White wines often have pronounced fruit flavours of their own, and a crispness or sweetness that might jar with fresh fruit. Lighter-style rosé typically have pleasant strawberry and red berry aromas but a subdued palate. The soft texture and subtle flavours won’t jostle for attention. Perfect for those stinking hot days where you only have the appetite for a chilled glass and a few watermelon slices.
For more back-to-basics information about rosé, check out our article What is Rosé? here.