Rose, last of the autumn wine

Delicious, desirable and delicate,no wonder rose wine is having its moment in the sun. Coolly fashionable with celebratory endorsements from Sir Cliff via Mick Hucknall (Simply Red-Simply Rose doesn’t have the same cachet) to Brangelina it’s making a splash from pool sides and patios across the country.
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Peak consumption has always been across the summer months and that has not changed. However as the nights grow colder, rose could also be a perfect match for richer autumn dishes. Perhaps it is nostalgia for the eighties (remember Mateus Rose and its distinctive bottle) Or perhaps it’s the arrival of more sophisticated tipples such as Provencal Rose, reminiscent of holidays in southern France. It could be the awareness of dryer styles, some of which can easily withstand the overzealous barbeque chef producing a little more char than was bargained for.

Rose is made wherever red grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Grenache, Cabernet and Tempranillo are grown. The marked colour differences depend upon how long the grape juice remains in the same vessel as the red grape skins. A shorter contact time results in a paler more delicate colour.

It is a myth that all rose’s are sweet but with current labelling it’s often difficult to tell the difference. A useful guide is to look at the alcohol content. Wines between 12% and 14% will tend to be dry as more of the grape’s natural sugars have been converted into alcohol. Whereas wines around 10% will tend to be fruit bombs generally made from the Zinfandel grape.

Our guess though is that it’s a crowd pleaser and a good compromise when one of you fancies white wine and the other red. Why not agree on a refined, elegant Sancerre Rose or even a delicious, versatile Rioja Rose. Perfect with red or white meat, vegetarian dishes or even fish!

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WARMING WINTER WHITE WINES

Warming Winter Whites

A contradiction in terms “ a warming winter white ” may be, except I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe it’s the time of year, the chill in the air or the change of menu. It’s just not cutting it for me. It could it be boredom with the linear taste profile; the firm acidity or the gooseberry tartness but there is just nothing that appeals in the flavour anymore.

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