While there is no doubt a whole load of crap rose out there, I realize just how unfair I have been to relegate all rose into one category of crapness. Rose, I apologize, please forgive me.
Why the change of heart you may ask. It all started on our second day in Marrakech when we noticed that almost everybody around us (those that were drinking wine anyway) was drinking rose. We were then having lunch at the lovely Le Grand Cafe de la Poste, happily eavesdropping on fellow diners when we overheard a conversation about the high quality of Moroccan rose. The eccentric French architect who was staying in the same riad as us confirmed that Moroccan rose was definitely the way to go, especially as a warm climate wine. Not as heavy as red but still presenting some characteristics of a decent red. Toshi and I are dedicated red drinkers, not to say that we won't occasionally have the odd glass (or bottle) of a decent white wine, but generally we stick to red - we just prefer it. Drinking red wine in the tropics however doesn't always make sense, it's just too heavy much of the time in the oppressive heat and especially so when you only have access to a very limited range of wine.
There was only one thing to do of course. We set out immediately to the closest place that served wine, the absolutely lovely La Maison Arabe, which was luckily only two minutes walk away, and ordered a bottle of Medaillon Rose Syrah (and a really delicious lemon curd tart). This wine is like a light red, comparable to beujoulais but milder and more fruity, not sweet, but darker and heavier than any rose I've seen before and it was DELICIOUS. We tried several other roses during this trip, most were excellent, one was terrible, but the Medaillon Rose was the winner in our books by far.
We brought three bottles back with us but sadly it's all gone now. Rose prospects are not looking good here in Freetown and now it's going to be hard to go back to red. Rose really is the new red for the tropics. Maybe we can convince one of the Lebanese supermarket owners to import some decent bottles - you never know.
Another hot weather favorite for us is half and half (pronounced with a heavy french accent like ef-en-ef). It's half white wine, half sparkling wine. This was introduced to us by a Belgian friend in Brussels.
Now, what are we going to drink tonight...?