Thinking pink – rosé wine reviews for an English summer

It looks like summer has finally arrived in London, just in time for us to spend three weeks indoors glued to the Olympics. For me, it’s not summer without massive quantities of rosé, served icy cold either with summer salads and barbeques, or necked while lying in the park or garden.

Rosé is made in the same way as red wine, except that the grape skins are scooped out after only a couple of days so that it doesn’t get as dark as a red. How they get it to be so moreish remains a mystery, though.

I’ve long been a fan of Chapel Down’s English Rose, which is grown in Kent and is totally fruity and delicious without being too cloyingly sweet. If you’re feeling patriotic, this is the pink wine for you, and although it’s a bit pricey at £10, it is bloody tasty.

The rather tasty Chapel Down English Rose 2010

The wine: Chapel Down English Rose
Where’s it from? Kent, UK
Where to buy it: Waitrose
What it will set you back: £10.44
How boozy is it? 11%

I also recently tried Reserve De La Saurine, a light, crisp and dry rosé from M&S that would go really well with picnics and light summer meals, and is a total bargain at £6.49 or £38 for six (let’s face it, one bottle is not enough.) Careful though, it packs a punch at 13.5% – make sure you eat!

A hard night’s work comparing rosés!

The wine: Reserve De La Saurine Rosé
Where’s it from? Languedoc, France
Where to buy it: Marks & Spencer
What it will set you back: £6.49
How boozy is it? 13.5%

It’s unusual for me to really dislike a wine, but I couldn’t get on with my third rosé, Yali, despite it being made from the light and fruity Merlot grape which is normally one of my faves. I found it tasted a bit plasticky and artificial, and for the price there is much nicer stuff around. It’s also as orangey as a fake-tanned WAG, which was a bit off-putting. One to avoid – I ended up adding it to a bolognaise sauce, which surprisingly worked ok. It seems to have gone down well with the commenters on the Majestic site, which just goes to show how variable opinons about wine can be!

The wine: Yali Winemaker’s Selection Merlot Rosé
Where’s it from? Chile
Where to buy it: Majestic – but I don’t recommend it
What it will set you back: £5.99 for two
How boozy is it? 11.5%

Bottles cunningly photographed before being mysteriously emptied…

Luckily, my fourth rosé was more successful – another reliable, tasty Kiwi from Majestic, Fairleigh Estate Pinot Noir Rosé. Tastes almost like juice – really fruity, light and totally drinkable. Also, at £5.99 for two, really good value!

The wine: Fairleigh Estate Pinot Noir Rosé, 2011
Where’s it from? Marlborough, New Zealand
Where to buy it: Majestic
What it will set you back: £5.99 for two
How boozy is it? 12.5%

So that’s my summer wine shopping list sorted – enjoy life through rosé-tinted spectacles, and thanks for reading -


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