Don't make the mistake of thinking rosé wines are only good as a lightweight aperitif. Below, Fiona Beckett picks some of her favourite premium rosé wines from a recent tasting and suggests which foods to match them with.

It’s surprisingly simple to match rosé wines with food due to their versatility, but what takes a rosé wine into the gastronomic league?

‘For me, it’s not the ability to pair with classic French dishes, though many do, but that it can be one of the best partners for a wide range of food,’ said Fiona Beckett in the newly released August issue of Decanter.

As a very general rule, lighter styles of rosé will tend to pair better with more delicate food, such fresh salads or charcuterie.

Fuller-bodied rosé wines, perhaps with riper fruit and more structure, are more likely to stand up to barbecued meats or foods with a bit of spice.

‘Rosés from the New World tend to be riper and sweeter than their European counterparts; and this is not necessarily an off-putting quality when they are paired with spicy food,’ said Beckett.

‘The final message, as with other wines, is that you will be amply rewarded in terms of character and complexity by paying a little more for your rosé.’

Find below: Fiona Beckett’s top 10 premium rosé wines to pair with food from this Decanter tasting

Click on the wines to see the full tasting note and stockist details for UK and US, where available. Fiona Beckett is Decanter’s chief restaurant critic and has her own blog, matchingfoodandwine.com


Subscribe to Decanter to see the full 30 gastronomic rosé wines in the August issue


Château Brown, Rosé, Bordeaux, France, 2013

Château Brown, Rosé, Bordeaux, France, 2013

A serious and grown-up, deeply savoury barrel-fermented rosé. It's a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, a rich bronze in colour with a deep flavour of dried apricots and quince. Mature but still surprisingly fresh and elegant, with great acidity. Drink with: sweetbreads, rack of lamb.

Points 95
Charles Melton, Barossa Valley, Rose of Virginia, 2015

Charles Melton, Barossa Valley, Rose of Virginia, 2015

With its striking label and exotic, perfumed cherry and pomegranate fruit this is a statement rosé if there ever was one. It would be great with the generous flavours of an Ottolenghi-style feast. Drink with: lamb with pomegranate seeds.

Points 93
Bodegas Julián Chivite, Vino de la Tierra 3 Riberas, Las

Bodegas Julián Chivite, Vino de la Tierra 3 Riberas, Las

Dedicated to legendary Spanish chef José Maria Arzak, this should be a gastronomic rosé and it is. Clean, crisp and incisive with mouthwatering acidity, it could almost be a white. Drink with: prawns, fresh crab, langoustines, sashimi.

Points 93
Bodegas Ramon Bilbao, Rioja Alta, LaLomba Rosado, 2016

Bodegas Ramon Bilbao, Rioja Alta, LaLomba Rosado, 2016

Pale, almost Provence-like in appearance, this mainly Grenache-based rosado tastes more like an oaked white Rioja than a rosé, though it hasn’t seen oak. Full, savoury, creamy and appetising. Drink with: Spanish fish dishes such as hake, gambas and paella.

Points 92

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