A chance conversation with a Provençal vigneron leads to the most unlikely of quests - a hunt to find France's palest rosé. Extremely Pale Rosé is a richly entertaining and informative account of the travels of Jamie, his wife Tanya and their ebullient friend Peter, as they take up this challenge. Giving up their lives in London, they quickly discover an unfortunate truth - the French won't treat rosé or their quest seriously. Rosé is seen as a poor cousin to red and white wine, drunk as an aperitif or to wash away the taste of spicy food. In bars, boulangeries and boucheries from Bordeaux to Bandol, Jamie, Tanya and Peter are recommended diverse vineyards to visit, and as they travel they encounter the beginnings of a rosé revolution - French attitudes to pale pink wine appear to be changing, but is it too little too late to help them succeed in their quest? With wit, candour and wonderful storytelling, Jamie Ivey maintains a tradition of excellence in food and travel writing. Readers are left with dreams of France, summer days, baguettes, and . . . extremely pale rosé.
First-time author Ivey, his wife and friends were enjoying a languid afternoon in France, sipping their favorite ros and conversing in stilted French with a woman at a neighboring table, a vintner who claimed to have the palest ros in all of France. Due to a misinterpretation on Ivey's part, he offers to find an even paler bottle within a year and submit it for her review. Soon, Ivey and Co. are off to Paris to meet with the first of many experts who will guide their journey. The trio winds their way through Champagne and other regions with varying degrees of success. A turning point comes when they taste a darker ros that eclipses the best varieties of pale ros, causing them to wonder whether or not pale ros is the be-all of ross. Ivey does an admirable job of setting the scenes, but the people he encounters never become more than his descriptions, and they pop in and out so quickly that it's difficult to keep them straight. Ivey never makes his journey the reader's journey, and the story leaves the reader in the dust without so much as a sip of wine for solace.