Actually Delicious Pale Rosé Wine To Drink Outside This Weekend

Photographed by Anna Jay.
Summer is, ostensibly, a time for rosé wine. Head to the park, people are drinking it out of plastic cups; to the beer garden, where the table of girls next to you are several bottles deep; to your mate's house, where she hands you a glass and insists you stand awkwardly on her uncomfortably small balcony to drink it, because: summer.
But let's be real here; a lot of rosé is straight-up gross. It's alcoholic strawberry squash in disguise. It's sticky, it's sweet, it leaves you with furry teeth and a sugar-induced headache after just one glass. It's disappointing from first sip to last.
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Good rosé does exist. We've all had some at one point; a lovely dry, beautifully bright taste that leaves you thinking, yeah, this is what drinking wine is meant to be about.
But how to find those rosés? I've been burned far too many times to attempt to purchase any old bottle willy-nilly in the supermarket. I thought, for instance, you could rely on a pale rosé to be delicious, but have since found out the hard way that's not always the case. Then I thought, let's go for the more expensive rosés, only to find out that many of them are also questionable af.
What you want to check, rather than colour, is how dry a rosé is. Wines from the Provence region are usually a good bet – they tend to be crisp and dry. It's "new world" wines that tend to be sweeter. Californian zinfandel, for instance. Australian grenache. If, like me, sweet is not your thing, these are the ones to avoid.
With this in mind, we decided to go on the hunt for the best of these delicious dry bottles of rosé so you've got a few go-to wines to choose from next time you're standing in the supermarket with no idea what to do. Click through our slideshow to find the one that whets your whistle and stock up – this good weather ain't gonna last forever.
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Photographed by Anna Jay.
Château Gassier 'Esprit Gassier' Côtes de Provence Rosé, £13.95, available at Great Western Wines

Our crack team of wine testers are fully behind the design of this bottle; the floral illustrations look straight out of that House of Hackney x & Other Stories collaboration from earlier in the summer. According to the tasting notes, this wine is "round, full and elegant, with lovely juicy pear on the mid-palate and a vivacious finish."

Although Social Media Editor Natasha initially isn't into the smell, an air of sophistication comes into the atmosphere as the testers sip this one. "Well I do feel grown-up," says Liv. "Lovely."

"We've moved from Blossom Hill to Blossom Mountain," comments Sadhbh, Social Media Assistant. "It's a 'can't complain' kind of rosé," says Natasha.

"Close your eyes and you are in Provence," muses Managing Editor Katy. "We can hear the sea and feel the sun and we are drinking this. Me out of the bottle."

Verdict: A perfectly fine wine, buy mainly for the beautiful bottle.
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Photographed by Anna Jay.
Tesco Rose Vin De Pays De Loire, £7.50, available at Tesco

Three separate people wander past the tasting to let us know that "the way to pick a good rosé is to go for the palest one." Well, this wine is the one that proves them wrong. Despite being a darker pink, this Tesco offering with "flavours of raspberry and summer fruits" is the opposite of sickly sweet.

"SOUR," says Sadhbh. "Was not expecting that. Definitely don't hate it though."

"It's bold," says Picture Intern Liv. "Quite tart. But not in a bad way," adds Natasha.

Katy and I are huge fans. "Strong and stable," Katy hoots. "Giddy up horsey!"

Verdict: An excellent cheaper purchase for those who really don't like sweet wines.
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Photographed by Anna Jay.
Gifford’s Hall Rosé Magnum Suffolk, £13.99, available at Waitrose

This wine is from England, which is cool. Apparently the UK is quite good at wine these days. Which is good news for when Brexit finally goes through and we're stuck living on a billy-no-mates island with nothing to eat but Yorkshire puddings; at least there will be wine. Most notably this "fine fruited rosé wine from Suffolk."

Natasha is a huge fan and immediately starts singing "Jerusalem" in an unprompted display of patriotism.

"It smells like jack fruit," Liv notes. Sadhbh thinks it tastes "posh" and "tangy". "I like this, but I can feel myself getting a headache," she explains, noting that it feels heavier than the others.

"Give me the whole bottle," Natasha says, when the verse finally ends.

Verdict: Feels like a distinctly safe pair of hands. Like a heritage brand – think Barbour, Mulberry, Liberty.
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Photographed by Anna Jay.
Mirabeau Cotes de Provence Rosé, £7.99, available at Waitrose

One of Waitrose's most popular offerings, the Mirabeau is said to be "bright, elegant and seriously refreshing."

I concur. But the team are unsure about the fragrance. "This is going to be a whirlwind," says Liv, taking a sniff. "Potent!"

One thing's for sure, it's certainly not sweet. "It's dry in a musty way," says Natasha. "It's a bit like 'off' water."

"I'm sure if I ordered it at dinner I'd think it was amazing," adds Sadhbh.

Verdict: Buy if you're a big fan of super duper dry wines. Don't buy it if you're Natasha.
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Photographed by Anna Jay.
Corbières Rosé 2016, £11.50, available at Harvey Nichols

Produced using the "vin gris" method, this wine is the palest of the bunch and, according to the tasting notes, is "graced with subtle, engaging notes of dried flora, red fruit and mixed herbs."

This is definitely the team's favourite. "I really like this, it goes down verrrry smoothly. Tastes like Tom Jones' voice," says Sadhbh. "I feel like it could be a white?" adds Natasha. "But that probably reveals my wine ignorance. My 'wignorance'. It leaves a delicious fruity taste on your lips."

"I want the whole bottle," says Liv.

Verdict: The clear winner. Pale, delicate and delicious.
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