As English Wine Week comes to an end, Carol Brown is here to help you decide on that perfect rose to drink in the sunshine.
Were you tempted to treat yourself to a chilled glass of rose on National Rose Day on June 12? It can be difficult to keep up with the days dedicated to our favourite drinks and food.
On June 4 it was National Fish and Chip Day (not that I need an excuse) and I found myself enjoying impromptu fish and chips with friends. It also coincided with my taste testing of rose wines and the combination worked well.
If, like me, you always add on a side of mushy peas to your fish supper, then the herbaceous notes and uplifting acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc is a great combination (Sauvignon Blanc Day took place on May 7).
I’m always drawn to the vibrancy of South African Sauvignons and Groote Post Sauvignon Blanc 2020 is so very expressive with its forward scents of pea pod, passion fruit and lime. Dry and tangy, there is a lovely purity of fruit-think ripe gooseberry and passion fruit. The finish is lingering. It’s £12.75 from www.cellardoorwines.co.uk
English wine week
One of my favourite combinations is fizz and fish and chips and as we are just coming to the end of English Wine Week (June 19-27) for a Friday night indulgence, try one of the wonderful English Traditional Method Sparkling Wines which are now well represented in independent wine stores and supermarkets.
The bright and lively acidity is a benchmark of the style and lifts this seaside treat to another level. For more information on English wines visit www.winegb.co.uk
I’m an advocate of year-round rose but there is something about a sunny day that draws you out into the garden, with a glass of rose in hand. Rose wines are also very food friendly and can be enjoyed with platters of antipasto, meze and tapas.
On the colour spectrum, they can range from the merest hint of pink to salmon to fuchsia depending on the grapes used and the length of skin contact.
Marius by Michel Chapoutier 2019 Rose, Pays D’OC, France
This is a blend of the of the southern French classics Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Salmon pink, there are scents of peaches and cream and strawberries and spice. It’s dry and refreshing with touches of red cherry and blossom and fruity enough to stand up to mildly spiced dishes. RRP £9.80 at www.simplywinesdirect.co.uk or www.thewinereserve.co.uk
Vara Rose 2020, Romania
This good-value dry rose is made for M&S by the great Cramele Recas Estate who I visited on my Romanian wine exploration trip a couple of years ago. It’s a blend of 65% Merlot and the local black grape, Feteasca Negra.
So pale salmon pink, it’s perfumed with peach and redcurrant. Refreshing and tangy with crunchy red cherries and raspberry, it’s vibrant with a lovely purity of fruit and a mineral edge to the finish. You can find it in M&S for £7.
Joseph Mellot Sancerre Rose 2019, Loire Valley, France
If it says Sancerre Rose on the label then the grape must be Pinot Noir and this is a delicious expression. Pale salmon in colour, it’s a summer pudding in a glass. Zesty, dry and refreshing, with notes of strawberries, red cherry, and raspberry and subtle hints of citrus and peach, there is loads going on! RRP £17.20 from Fountainhall Wines (Aberdeen), or Dulwich Vintners.
Domaine Romy, Imperial Rose 2019, Burgundy, France
Domaine Romy is situated in Les Pierres Dorees in the southern part of Burgundy. The grape is Gamay Noir, the grape of Beaujolais. There are scents of ripe strawberries, peach and melon with notes of wild herb and citrus. Dry and soft, this is well rounded with red berry flavours and a ripe pink grapefruit lift. RRP£11.90 from Fountainhall Wines (Aberdeen) or Vino Wines.
Jean Leon 3055 Rose, Penedes, Spain
A very pale pink organic Pinot Noir rose from the north east Spanish region of Penedes. This has scents of strawberries and cream and is dry and tangy and light bodied with herbaceous notes and hints of nutmeg and spice. Find it at winedirect.co.uk for around £14.95.
M&S Classics No.22, Cotes De Provence Rose 2020, France
In typical Provence rose style, this is the palest of pinks. A blend of southern France classic varieties Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, this is strawberry fragranced, this dry rose has a lively acidity, with an uplifting pink grapefruit kick and a delicious intensity of Perthshire raspberries and a long-lasting finish. Great value at £8.00 from M&S.
Pink Lily English Rose 2018
Pink Lily is made for M&S by Surrey wine Estate Denbies. Pale pink with scents of soft red berries, peach and cranberry this off dry rose is well balanced with notes of red berry salad and citrus. Drink with simply poached salmon. It’s priced £10 from M&S.