La Vie En Rosé: served ice cold, light, crisp and refreshing Rosé is the ultimate summer drink, whether sparkling or still.

For the few weeks (plural, we hope) when the sun is shining, there is no drink more appealing than a good ice-cold glass of crisp rosé. Light, floral and fresh, it quenches our thirst and delights our senses – all while evoking the spirit of Provence, from where many of the very palest varieties hail. Gone are the days when rosé meant dark pinks with a lingeringly sweet, headache-inducing after-taste. Modern rosés are subtle and breezy affairs, made for drinking from under a parasol under the gaze of the hot sun. (Though we do note that there is an incoming revival of dark rosés coming soon – watch this space.)

Whether you plump for the original French or an English variety, these are the rosés on our radar this summer.

Best French Rosés

Pink Diesel, £14.95

Diesel – or indeed any kind of petrol – may not be getting a very good press this summer. But there is one upside to ditching the car while prices soar: it allows you to knock back a couple of glasses of Pink Diesel with impunity. A classic Provence rosé, it is crisp and refreshing, with notes of honey, peach and citrus undertones. A labour of love, its grapes are harvested on a family-run vineyard in Bandol, blending Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah. Despite hailing from an iconic rosé region, there is a British touch too; it is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Amy Gatehouse and Marina Ayton. The perfect tipple to transport you to the South of France in a sip. Buy it here.

Whispering Angel, £20

Another rosé, another Provencal pink that is so exquisitely pale it has become the standard against which all pretenders are now measured. Created at the Château d’Escalans, it is dry, clean and offers up delicious citrus and herbal notes, all thanks to its blend of Grenache, Cinasault and Rolle. We can’t speak highly enough of it. Buy it here.

The Pale, Rosé by Sacha Lichine, £13.99

Like what you tasted with Whispering Angel but want to try something different from the same producer? Enter The Pale by Sacha Lichine, which Waitrose calls, ‘an expressive, aromatic and elegant blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes that grow parallel to the Mediterranean coast where their salty, sun-drenched soils give the wine a dry yet fruity character.’ In other words, a oenophile’s summer heaven. Buy it here.

Amie Rosé, £15

Produced in the Langedoc region of France and made from 100 per cent Cinsault, Amie Rosé is packed with red berry flavours and cherry blossom, all with a fresh and lively palette. A great companion for fish or grilled chicken, it makes the ultimate al fresco summer lunch party drink. We adore the fresh and breezy bottle design too. Buy it here.

Ultimate Provence Côtes de Provence Rosé, £26.99

Behold this beautiful bottle – if it didn’t contain the pink stuff, we’d almost want it on our dressing tables filled with garden-inspired scent. As it is, we’ll take its delicate, floral notes with a hint of spice. Mainly made from the Syrah and Rolle grapes, see if you can taste the Provençal raspberry, blood orange, berry pie, fresh violet and geranium lingering beautifully on your lips. Buy it here.

Best English Rosés

Nannette's English Rosé 2016, £17.50

Grown on the Kentish Hush Heath Estate, this delicate rosé is made up from Pinot Noir, Pinot Menier and Chardonnay – the classic Champagne blend, though this comes minus the bubbles. Look out for notes of pear, strawberries and apple, along a citrussy zing. In other words, a deliciously cooling drink on a hot day. Buy it here.

Chapel Down English Rosé, £13.99

Chapel Down in Kent has been a stellar force in the world of English wines for many years. Its whites are the stuff of legend. But do not neglect its lovely rosé this summer. Waitrose Cellar says of it, ‘This excellent rosé shows pure strawberry aromas on the nose and the palate follows through with juicy, fruity notes of strawberry and red fruits. A very refreshing wine.’ Buy it here.

Rosé Twenty Eighteen, £49

Made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this delectable sparkling wine is ideal for slipping into the season’s spirit. Its soft summer berries speak of high summer, while the creamy and rounded texture lend it a luxurious quality. As Gusborne says, ‘We like to think of this as the perfect expression of halcyon days.’ And we heartily agree. Buy it here.

Three Choirs Vineyard Rosé, £12.99

Hailing from a Cotswolds vineyard comes this highly drinkable rosé, which is zesty, complex and full of summer berry fruit. The perfect off-dry aperitif as the sun begins to make its nightly descent. Buy it here.

Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé, £38

Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 called Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé ‘Bracing and lively, with deeper autolytic tones augmenting refreshing red berries, apple and rhubarb.’ We won’t argue with that – and nor, it seems, will HM The Queen, who reputedly served it to Barack Obama on his visit at a Buckingham Palace State Banquet. The Chardonnay grapes make it feel crisp, while the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier deliver the notes of redcurrant, raspberry, cherry, strawberry, red apple, rhubarb crumble and pink grapefruit. East Sussex-based Ridgeview began creating its champagne-rivalling wines in 1995, which is to say back when few people had faith in the British wine industry. Fast forward to today and it is thriving. We’ll drink to that. Buy it here.

By Nancy Alsop
July 2022

Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.