Fresh, fun and a little bit niche, rosé wines are the justified summer favourite.
Le Rosé de Giscours, Chateau Giscours 2013, Bordeaux, France (£11.50, www.bbr.com ) is a deep coral pink.
It has strawberry and raspberry aromas with melon and apricot flavours and sage and thyme elements lend plenty of freshness to the savoury finish of this classy wine.
If only one of you fancies a glass, Domaine Haut Perron Sonnemot Rosé 2013, Loire, France (£5.75, 37.5cl, www.halfwine.com) is a juicy, fresh rose with wild strawberry aromas and strawberries on the palate with bright acidity and a twinge of spice and sweetness on the finish .
Meanwhile, Domaine Michel Girard Sancerre Rosé 2013, Loire, France (£13.99, www.virginwines.co.uk) will surely convince sceptics that rosé can be a serious wine.
The colour of cantaloupe, it’s precise and clean with a core of orange blossom and white peach underpinned by strawberry and cherry fruits with a mineral-filled, pure finish.
A rosé that’s had time to mature in the bottle, Bourgogne Rose Cuvee Margoton Olivier Leflaive 2010, Burgundy, France (£9.31 from £10.95, www.corneyandbarrow.com ) is still zippy and at its peak. A deep salmon pink, it’s refined with subtle raspberry flavours, good acidity and a pleasing dryness on the fruity, round finish.
A perfect example is the classic, corset-shaped bottle of M de Minuty Rosé 2013, Cotes de Provence, France (Majestic, £11.24 when you buy two, or £14.99, now until September 1), scented with orange blossom notes, with a soft silky mouthfeel of red berry fruits and refreshing acidity on the mouthwatering finish.
Equally delicious, Domaine de Rimauresq Provence Rose 2013, France (£14.99, www.virginwines.co.uk) is super fresh and the pastel colour has no bearing on the concentration of fruit; there’s invigorating tangerine and cherry flavours with notes of watermelon, subtle strawberry and a hint of smoke and spice define the finish.
An attractively fresh, pale peach, Domaine Les Gres Rose 2013, Provence, France (£10.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk) balances cherry, raspberry and plum, with good acidity and a lovely, fruity minerally finish.
Fashionable and far from frivolous, these consistently good Provencal roses are effortless to drink and while the steeper prices reflect their popularity, are still a good investment, especially when a soft, lush, rose as divine as Domaine St Andrieu L’Oratoire Rose 2013, Coteaux Varois en Provence, France (£10.99 from £12.99, www.redsquirrelwine.com) can be snapped up before the Bank holiday weekend.