As we drift towards June, my thoughts turn to the ever increasing number of BBQ’s that will fill my weekends over the summer months.

Now I'm no chef, so for me it's just some homemade burgers and marinated chicken and salads (that sounds as if I just throw that together in a simple manner but believe me... just getting the BBQ to light is quite a challenge for me!). That said, once we're up and running I'm thinking “what to drink?” Of course, a refreshing beer from the cool box is an attractive thought but I need more of an all - rounder.

Rosé is my angle, you saw it coming. And I'm not thinking of the endless rows of supermarket stuff that sells for buttons and generally tastes sickly sweet and with little thought gone into the wine making and lots of thought into the industrial production and the bottom line.

When I think rosé my mind goes to Provence or the Loire Valley. Call me traditional but that's where we find consistently high quality wines that have structure,  and more importantly are food friendly. I will start with my personal current favourite and something we'll list over the summer, which is a Sancerre 2012 made by Alain Gueneau.  C’est un vin de plaisir! - As he says on his website; I couldn't agree more.

Restauranteur Will Smith
Restauranteur Will Smith
 

Or why not try a rosé Rioja for a change?  The Ramon Bilbao 2013 is the palest of pinks with searing acidity and a citrusy body.  Perfect served icily cold on a hot balmy day with some shellfish and retails for around £10.

Back to the Provence; the Whispering Angel from the Cotes de Provence is a far more serious affair retailing at about £24.  A delightful blend of five local grapes including lesser knowns like Rolle and Tibouren as well as Grenache - the 2012 won a Decanter Silver Medal, no less. Wonderfully smooth drinking with summer fruits and a subtle minerality.

Finally we head across the pond to Argentina and the Tupungato region of Mendoza. The Finca Sophenia guys are better known for full on red Malbecs. Here we have a richer wine with juicy, strawberry character and a fuller mouthfeel. Definitely something to enjoy with salads and chicken. This retails for about £10-12.”