3 bottlesChilled rosés are light, but still flavourful, and are ideal for sipping on a hot day. That's why more rosé wines are sold during the summer than at any other time of the year. So you'd think picking up a reasonably priced and tasty bottle of rosé would be easy. Not so. Of the bottles tasted for this column, less than half came up to scratch.

 So why are the odds stacked against picking up a good rosé? Because rosés aren't that easy to make.

red grapesGrape juice from white and red grapes is green. Most of a wine’s flavour and colour comes not from the juice, but from the skins of the grapes. Add yeast into a vat of grape juice from a ‘red wine’ grape such as Cabernet Sauvignon and you’ll end up with a white wine. To get a bit of colour into it, red grape skins need to be put into the brew.

The longer they are left in, the more colour and flavour is leached out. For a delicate rose-coloured wine like Rosé D’Anjou the grape skins are left in the wine for just a few hours. Leave the skins in for up to three days and even more of the grape’s colour and flavour will move into the wine – the resulting dark-coloured rosé could be mistaken for  a light red.

Too little soaking will result in a flavourless wine while too much can result in 'off' aromas. The light strawberry flavours and raspberry aromas of the best rosés are due as much to the skill and judgment of the winemaker as the quality of the grapes.

PG Wine Reviews

Errazuriz roseLuis Felipe Edwards Chilean Rosé 2013

£5.99 Majestic

Lightly fruity with hints of strawberry. Drink too cold and you'd think it was a white.

SPAR Italian Garganega Pinot Grigio Blush

£6.29 SPAR

Lemon, redcurrant and bubblegum flavours. Light and easy drinking.

Cleefs' South African Rosé 2014

£8.49 SAWinesonline

More of a light red than a rosé with its strawberry and toasted alond flavour.

Chateau ChivalierRamón Bilbao Spanish Rioja Rosado 2014

£9.95 Noel Young Wines

More of a white wine with its pear and light apricot flavours.

Viña Real Spanish Rioja Rosado 2014

£9.99 The Wine Reserve (Cobham, Kent)

Aromas of alond cake but it tastes of creamy apple and strawberry.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk

Barbecue manBarbecues and delicate wines don't go together. To compete with the rich smells and flavours of barbecued food you need a wine that tastes of berry fruit and chocolate. So what's needed are robustly-flavoured reds.

Barbecue man and women lookingBarbecued red meat and robustly-flavoured red wines are well matched. But where are we white wine drinkers in this mass of red? The lighter tasting flavours of white wines go well with barbecued fish, chicken, vegetable kebabs and salads. These foods will often have picked up a smoke-laced tang and so need wines made with more fruity-flavoured white grape varieties for a better match. Gooseberry tasting Sauvignon Blanc and the honey tones of a Colombard go well.

the sunSummer is now officially here and with it the hope of sultry days and the need for a cooling drink. So now’s the time to choose chilled whites as these make a good choice for wine lovers looking for refreshment.