Some Malbec rosés are salmon-pink while others are so pale as to be almost white, some are neon cherry, others are a coppery onion skin, and some can barely be told apart from a light claret. Such is the rainbow of Argentine rosés but they do tend to have something in common: they’re all fruity and very well-suited to a range of everyday meals.
For instance, picture yourself at dusk, it’s time for dinner, you were planning to go to your neighbourhood pizzeria but you’ve decided to order in, and you have a chilled bottle of Malbec Rosé in the fridge. The moment it’s in the glass the reviving cherry aromas will make the rest of your day while the voluminous freshness and dry tickle on the gums will whet your appetite just as the doorbell rings with your delivery.
But you might not be in the mood for a pizza, it might be a cheese plate, a salmon bagel, pesto pasta, grilled vegetables, Caesar or Niçoise salad, a bowl of peanuts, pretzels, a kebab, boiled rice or a mushroom risotto. Any of these and many more simple flavours will go well with a Malbec Rosé.
Why are Malbec Rosés special?
For one simple reason: the same magic that makes Malbecs so popular as a varietal red works to produce delicious, refreshing and versatile rosés. Some also offer the added bonus of a touch of acidity, while others treat you to an indulgent sweetness. You can tell which is which through careful inspection of the Rosé Rainbow.
The Malbec Rosé colour palette is effectively a style guide, which is true to an extent of every variety but especially so for Malbec. Because they’re generally bottled in clear glass, it’s certainly the best place to start.
A guide to Malbec Rosés
Baby Skin Malbec Rosé. These are the palest and offer almost angelical aromas of cherry and rose petal. In the mouth, they have a feathery feel pleasantly sculpted by the freshness. Excellent as an aperitif, they often also offer a little sweetness.
Salmon-pink Malbec Rosé. These rosés deliver fruity aromas of sweet and sour cherry with a velvety feel, packaged freshness and mild acidity on the gums. Dry enough to make them ideal accompaniments to a range of different meals.
Onion-Skin Malbec Rosé. These tend to be expressive wines with noses of plum, sweet and sour cherry and herbal notes – among other aromas – alongside vibrant but gentle palates. Because this is one of the most difficult colours to produce, these are the rarest form of Malbec Rosé.
Bright Cherry Malbec Rosé. These usually offer a ripe plum profile with hints of something a little more bitter. The palates are consistent with the voluminous body taking precedent over the acidity. They work well with more potent flavours such as red or cream sauces.
Claret Malbec Rosé. To the eye, these look more like pale reds, not dissimilar to some Pinot Noirs, but they’re gentler than that. Fruity in the nose with oaky notes that also lend heft to the palate, they maintain a good freshness that keeps everything light on its feet. The missing link between reds, rosés and whites and an excellent place to start if you generally prefer reds.
Of course, there are intermediary points among all these styles, while, as is now true of rosés across the world, a few Malbec Rosés are available in special packaging such as magnums, and prism-shaped and flat shouldered vessels.
But all these variations aside, you can take it as a rule of thumb that Malbec Rosés are great as both aperitifs and with meals.