Côtes de Provence on the edge of Lewisham

Reading any wine-related social media post or drinks column, it’s obvious rosé has exploded this year. Joining the realms of Aperol Spritz, Pimms and towering crisp lagers as the quintessential summer drinks, it’ll be permeating every barbeque and summer party until the temperature drops low enough to render outdoor events after 8pm unfeasible. I’ve often avoided rosé in the past by discounting it as the skimmed milk of wines. It’s pink, tastes a bit pink, and…. end of sentence?

Not so. After deciding that it was time to branch out of just drinking red wine, last year I decided to give rosé a go and admittedly, felt a bit of an idiot for ignoring it for so long.

This Mirabeau Cotes de Provence rosé (£10.99, Waitrose) is a great shout for any bring a bottle occasion, be it friend’s summer party, ingratiating yourself with people you don’t really know, or sitting in front of a high speed fan in your front room / bedroom / kitchen. The producers are originally from South London and are now living in France making delicious wines – while their story makes me want to congratulate them through gritted teeth (jealousy…), at least they know the vinous requirement for attempting to cool down in 50% humidity during a city summer.

When served very chilled, one sip could fool you into thinking that you’re sat in an outdoor cafe in Aix-en-Provence, a waft of lavender floating past on the early evening breeze, rather than staring out at a fast food restaurant in Deptford. Its cheerful salmon pink colour belies a slightly bolder taste than other Provençal rosés. The fragrance is floral and light – like a bowlful of ripe strawberries, or biting into a watermelon until the juice dribbles onto your chin. There’s also a little orange peel thrown into the mix.

Upon tasting, the orange is even more defined, even unravelling some peach and rose flavours. If like me, you tend to stoically sit through sweltering summers with a glass of red because you can’t be bothered with deciphering whites, try this. It’s refreshing, delicate, but with some force of character. Perfect to transition out of your comfort zone.

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