Monday, 17 June 2013

Rosé Festival: Bedford and Strand


Why don't we drink more rosé? We really, really should. From pale and understated to fruity pink bombs, there's something for everyone, but it's got a bit of a bad rep in recent years thanks to mass-produced American and Aussie versions flooding the market with their garish, sugary offerings.

There are plenty of wine festivals to celebrate crisp summer whites and deep, romantic winter reds, but not nearly enough being done for poor misunderstood rosé, who needs the most coverage of all to convince people it's not all Blossom Hill.

Good news! Until 5th July, London's Bedford and Strand are being total heroes and holding a Rosé Festival - hooray!

They invited me along to try their selection, and I was impressed by the sheer variety on offer. Some personal highlights were:

Les Betes Rousses Rosé from near Carcasonne in Southern France - in case your French is rusty, the name translates to 'the red beasts' which refers to the boar that run havoc in the vineyards of that area. Although this was the cheapest in the range (£19 a bottle, but a glass was £4.75) it was full of strawberry, floral freshness, and seemed very good value for money.

2011 Gifford's Hall Rosé, £38 per bottle/£28.50 for a carafe - an English rosé, hooray! Two birds with one stone in terms of promoting the underdogs, and what an underdog this is: its incredibly delicate pink colour hides what an explosion of refreshing fruit this has: grapefruit, gooseberry and tangerine with a hint of herby complexity make this a perfect match for fruity chicken salad or stuffed roasted peppers.

N.V Cremant de Limoux, Grand Cuvee, £30 a bottle/£6 a glass - This rosé sparkler is one of the best value options on the list. Fresh, light, and packed full of summer fruits, it also has a lovely mineral quality and lightly creamy texture. Really drinkable, and certainly added a bit of spritz to our evening.

B&S also have also come up with a marvellous idea: for skeptics like me who wouldn't know which to pick because we're not that keen on the pink stuff, they have a selection of 3 'Rosé Wine Flights' to choose from for £9, £10, or £11. Each option gives you three 70ml glasses of rosé to try: perfect for an evening of exploring new things in the summer sunshine.

Pop down to the pretty in pink Bedford and Strand sharpish and fall in love with rosé - until 5th July 2013. It's really easy to get to from Covent Garden station, and the food is tasty too...

Are you tempted to try more rosé? Let us know your faves in the comments...

Image from Andreas' photostream under the  Creative Commons License

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