When we first moved to the Languedoc, the less poncey part of the south of France nearly 20 years ago, there were two kinds of rosé. The first, piscine rosé as the French dubbed it, was thin, pale and uninteresting. It was best served in a large glass full of ice cubes, preferably around a swimming pool by a tanned French girl in a bikini. The second, darker in hue and fuller of flavour, carried the scent of the garrigue, thyme, lavender and rosemary. It went well by the pool, of course, served by anyone in a bikini, but was equally good with merguez sausages and pork chops grilled over vine logs.
But just as the grey squirrel pushed the red squirrel to the edges of civilisation, so has pale rosé pushed its darker cousin to the verge of extinction.