In the spirit of optimism that informs the British attitude to the weather, this Spring's fine conditions lead me to expect a hot summer. As I write, we are told that the oak tree budding before the ash means a dry summer – so the rosé bandwagon of recent years looks set to continue. A rash of rosados from Spain has recently crossed my tasting bench, but there are lots more out there too. Some would have us believe that the best sellers are a delicate pale pink, but I'm not so sure. The trend towards deeply coloured, youthful-tothe- point-of-lurid roses accelerates and tends to be a sign of youthful, fruity aromas.
Affordable: Rioja Rosado Navajas 2003 Pale hued liked a fade rose, this offers aromas of homemade raspberry ripple ice cream; the subtle vanilla flavours of oak, supporting rather than dominating the fruit. It's soft but dry on the finish. Drink on its own or with grilled red mullet.
£5.59 per bottle ex-VAT from Moreno Wines; firstname.lastname@example.org ? Caré Rosado, Bodegas Añadas 2006 From Cariñena (the Designation of Origin rather than the grape) and made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this youthful, ruby-pink rosado is packed with blackcurrant flavour, but retains freshness and not a whiff of jamminess. It's robust without being heavy and very drinkable. Smartly packaged it will do well across the bar and by the glass.
£5.76 per bottle ex-VAT from Alliance Wine; alliancewine.co.uk ? Trading Up: Priorat Rosat, Gine Gine 2006 Deeply coloured red pink, this substantial fruity rose has red fruit and some tropical nuances, along with pepper and a twist of minerality. It's dry with weight and stylish balance. Will handle spice.
£8.40 29 per bottle ex-VAT from Alliance Wine; alliancewine.co.uk ? Douro Rose, CARM 2005 Just lovely, this fruity dry rosé reminds us that Portugal is much more than Port and reds.
£12.99 per bottle ex- VAT from Raymond Reynolds; tel: 01663 74 2230 ? Arbois Pupillin (Ploussard), Domaine Emanuelle Houillon 2004 Medium pale partridge eye pink, it offers challenging acidity and off the wall flavours. It will require a push because it won't suit every palate but match it with the right dish (belly pork perhaps) and you'll have a winner.
£12.29 per bottle ex-VAT from Les Caves de Pyrene; tel: 01483 538820 ? Top drawer: Hush Heath estate Balfour Brut Rose 2004 Pale, almost tawny or wild salmon pink this English bottle fermented sparkler is light and fresh, with aromas of summer pudding and a fine persistent mousse. It's dryish with a fruity finish and really rather stylish.
£22.75 per bottle, ex-VAT bibendum-wine.co.uk