rosewine How To: Buy Rose WineLast time on our back to basics ‘How to’ series, we considered how to buy White Wine. Buying any variety of wine is as easy as adding it to your shopping cart (virtual or real) these days, but negotiating the intricate world of wine etiquette, tasting and just plain buying the best wines is really not as easy as it sounds. This time, we’re looking at Rosé wine, which is probably the most under-appreciated of all the wine colours.

What to buy:

Lack of market knowledge has been translated into a lacking appreciation for Rosé wines: people have often tried only the cheapest wines and decided that they’re representative of the whole lot. Take some time to explore the range out there, and you’ll discover what suits you and your friends best.

  • Descriptions of Rosé are similar to those of whites: we grade them on a scale of dryness, from Bone Dry to Dry, Medium and Sweet.
  • Bone Dry and Dry are obviously those with the easily tasted tannins, the sweet examples those with a pleasant sugary taste. Medium Roses strike a decent balance between the two extremes.
  • Find out more by visiting our Wine Tasting guide.
  • Countries and regions renowned for quality wines include Rioja in Spain, the Loire Valley in France (the historical centre of the stuff) and Abruzzo in Italy. You’ll also find up and coming centres in Australia, South Africa, and even some fantastic English examples!
  • Look out for our award winning wines, but don’t limit yourself to them: remember, these wines are underappreciated, and half the fun is in finding the best ones yourself!

When to Serve it:

Know when wines are best served is a complex arrangement, but one that is often overridden by the simply fact that sometimes, you just want a certain wine. Still, if you’re entertaining, it’s imperative to know what wines to serve when.

  • For the purposes of food matching, Rosé wine is often considered similar to white wine and will usually do in those situations where it is appropriate: with fish and white meat. Of course, Rosé also shares characteristics with red wines, and whilst not heavy enough for Steaks, fuller-bodied instance are not incompatible with many red meats.
  • As such, they can often be useful for maintaining a food matching plan when with a group of people who generally prefer to drink just white or just red.
  • Rosé is generally not associated with wine aging and virtually every bottle you buy will be best served within two to three years and would have tasted just as pleasant if you’d consumed it on the day of purchase.
  • This isn’t to say that no examples benefit from aging, but the vast majority of serious ones will be pre-aged, sometimes in Oak barrels, so you don’t have to wait around to enjoy them.

How to serve it:

How you serve a wine isn’t as complex as knowing the precise pitch and yaw of the bottle as you pour it into a glass, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that the ritual could extend so far. The following tips are good etiquette to keep in mind, but don’t be a slave to them!

  • The optimal consumption temperature of these wines is around eight degrees celsius, so pop them in the fridge for a few hours before serving, unless you have a dedicated wine cooler (domestic fridges actually operate at around two degrees Celsius, so it’s best not to store the wine there).
  • Because of this, most people will serve Rose in white wine glasses, because the longer stem prevents you from warming the wine with your hand.
  • However, dedicated Rose wine glasses are better still, combining long stems with a wider lip to capitalise on the red-like aromatic qualities of the wine.
  • Choosing additional glassware such as a wine decanter can also help to improve the serving experience.


The last thirty years have seen several rising trends in wine. World wine is the most obvious, but greater appreciation for Rosé has been just as important. With a trend towards wider recognition now that its market potential has been fully established, it’s worth enjoying these great wines before demand inevitably pushes prices higher! You can find our full range here. We hope this guide helps you to enjoy yourself with good company, great food and classic wine!

The Classic Wine Direct ‘How To’ Series

How to: Buy Red Wine
How to: Buy White Wine
How to: Buy Rosé Wine
How to: Buy Champagne and Sparkling Wine (Coming Soon)
… And more to follow!