Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Think Pink! 11 of the Best Rosés for Summer 2015

Britain's wine drinking is changing: more and more of us are breaking old habits and trying new wines from lesser known countries and regions, as well as buying wines in new places such as budget supermarkets (which are full of excellent value gems) and local indie wine merchants.


But amidst all this new, open-minded drinking, it seems poor old rosé is still struggling to be seen as anything other than cheap, poorly-made, sugary 'blush'. Even my fellow wine geek friends rarely seem to drink it. OH, THE INJUSTICE.

The truth is, rosé isn't only the ultimate summer wine, it's also an absolute champion food match, and it can be just as charming and intriguing and complex as its red and white brethren.

All I am saying... is GIVE PINK A CHANCE. Here's 10 bottles that I hope will revolutionise your thinking and give you a rosier rosé perspective:

1. Mirabeau rosé - £9.29 at Waitrose / £8.99 at Ocado

This pale pink southern French rosé appears to have somewhat bucked the trend and even has its own enthusiastic fan following. It's fairly easy to see why: it's a dry, fresh summer wine with lots of wild strawberry and mouthwatering citrus flavours. A refreshing 'sophisticated soirée' sort of bottle, but also a match for a chicken salad or some dressed crab.

2. Señorio de Sarria Rosado, Navarra, 2014 - £5.95 at The Wine Society

I was recommended this cracking value Spanish rosé by several members of staff at The Society who enjoy drinking it themselves. This deep pink rosé is made using grenache grapes, and is soft and round, with more body than many of the lighter pinks. I'm told it makes a great match for light tapas dishes (particularly fishy ones) and paella.

3. Triebaumer Blaufrankisch Rosé, £12 at Alpine Wines

This is Lucienne's recommendation from a tasting she had recently - a bit of a rarity, as it's produced in Austria.

Refreshing, juicy red berries and nice and light at just 11.5% - Alpine Wines suggest you drink it with light grilled meats or some salmon, but it looks as though Lucienne enjoyed it on a terrace in the sunshine.

4. Tesco Finest Nero D'Avola Rosé, currently just £5.99 down from £7.99 (25% off)

I loooove Sicilian wine, and this rosé is made by the brilliant Settesoli co-op, whose wines I have drunk several times before. This is packed with cherries and will really suit a fresh, light summer pasta dish.

5. AIX rosé 2014, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, £19.99 for a MAGNUM at Majestic

A real party starter, we have taken a big bottle of this to many a barbecue, and it's a great, summery, fresh tasting wine to sip over good conversation and canapés. Really smashing - you'll definitely finish the bottle.

6. Spice Trail Rosé, £6.49 at Waitrose and also at Ocado

This is a Hungarian rosé no less - and very different from everything else I've recommended so far. This one has been specially crafted in collaboration with professional chefs to be a perfect match for asian and spicy foods, and is made from pinot noir and kekfrankos grapes. Both fruity and spicy, this really is perfect for an aromatic summer prawn curry. 

You can find more of our wine recommendations to match spicy food here (and even more curry wine matches here).

7. The Society's Corsican Rosé, £8.75 at The Wine Society

Another pretty much unanimous recommendation from some of my Wine Society pals, this is the sort of bottle you should buy if you really want to know what all the fuss is about when it comes to rosé. It's only recently been added to The Society's range but it's made for them by a producer whose rosés they've been selling successfully for many years. Elegant, delicate and full of character - I'm told it's the perfect match for lobster (which, at this price, is impressive indeed.)

8. Muga Rosado, currently £8.99 at Majestic (usually £11.99)

A recommendation from an old friend of mine who knows a classy bottle when she sees one, this Spanish rosé is made in the Rioja region, and has an abundance of strawberry, raspberry and orange peel character. A really well-made wine which is the perfect aperitif to sip in the garden while dinner is on the go.

9. Jewel of Nasik Zinfandel Rosé, £7 at Marks and Spencer

The sight of a zinfandel rosé is enough to make a lot of wine fans run a mile, BUT WAIT. This is an INDIAN rosé, expertly made by one of the country's most established wineries in collaboration with an M&S wine buyer, and is really worth trying.

It's packed full of redcurrant flavour and has a touch of sweetness to please the regular 'white zinfandel' fans, but is so, SO much better than the similarly-priced American pink plonk you can buy so widely in our supermarkets. Do yourself a favour and buy some of this instead.

10. Sevilen R Rosé, £9.50 at Marks and Spencer

As if they didn't already win with their Indian rosé, Marks and Sparks also get 10/10 in the 'interesting and different' category thanks to this Turkish rosé, which has perhaps the prettiest bottle I've seen all year.

It's a collaboration between a Turkish producer and a French wine consultant, and is a blend of syrah with Turkey's kalecik karasi grape (you can try more of this variety at The Wine Society).

Fresh raspberry and rhubarb flavours abound - try it with langoustines or lightly spiced grilled chicken.

11. Toro Loco Rosé, £3.79 at Aldi

Yep, I'm recommending this, and I don't care what you think of me for doing so. It's cheap, but it's fruity and easy-drinking, and a chilled glass of this slips down really rather well on midweek nattering sessions with my least judgemental friends.

I'm not saying this is better than any of the other 10 wines I've mentioned above, but if you want something cheap but actually pleasantly drinkable (compared to similarly priced alternatives in other supermarkets, and - actually - also compared to much more expensive, sugary big brand rosés) then this is a total winner in my eyes.

Are you converted to the wonders of rosé? What are your go-to pink bottles? Tell me in the comments!

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