We can feel the chill in the evening air and that means the colourful season of autumn is around the corner. But that doesn’t mean you have to ditch rosé wine, your favourite summer drink.
Pink wine suffered a poor reputation for some time. It was once seen as the drink of the 'party set' enjoying the long summer days of sunshine along far-flung coasts. It was also pitched as a drink for women.
Its light pink hue mirrored in the light, uncomplicated dance it performs on the taste buds contributed to it as being seen as a lightweight drink and not a serious contender for the dinner table or for ‘serious’ events.
And yet, here we are in 2020, with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson happy to order a glass of rosé in the pub for himself, a fete that would have been unheard of less than a decade ago. If a man enjoyed the pink wine, it was in secret.
In 2013, sales of rosé wine in the UK started to climb, with producers and retailers enjoying a 10% increase in sales. In 2019, UK households spent over half a million pounds on rosé wine.
The minimum alcohol pricing which is law in some countries has seen a slight decrease in wine sales but rosé is bucking the trend by holding steady in the affections of the UK wine drinker.
The reason for this upsurge in popularity is not easily attributed. Jeremy Clarkson didn’t make it popular but his take on things probably helped – drink what makes you happy he is reported to have said. And if a glass of the pink stuff does just that, then why not?
But what about the seasonality of pink wine? There is no denying that when the mercury rises in the summer, rosé wine offers a simple but successful choice whether that’s a summer lunch drink or for an evening BBQ in the garden.
This doesn’t mean that the refreshingly crisp wine with more than a few hints of summer berries, however, is not for the autumnal or chillier winter months. Served slightly chilled, pink wine makes a great accompaniment to lighter winter dishes and can still holds it own as a standalone drink on an autumn evening.
Aside from all of that, why should we confine drinking one type of drink at a certain time of the year? Can you imagine if we were told that whisky was only for the winter months or red wine could only be consumed between December and February? We would revolt! So why pigeon-hole rosé wine in the same way?
Which rosé wine gets our seal of approval?
#1 Whispering Angel
We describe this as ‘the palest of pale pinks’ a description that is certainly fitting and it has a few notable accolades under its screw top too.
Packed full of herby notes and flavours, it is no wonder that Whispering Angel is (possibly) the world’s most popular rosé and sold in over 100 countries. Critics love it too and now that rosé is always in style, as well as Whispering Angel, you could opt for one of her five sisters in your wine fridge too.
In 2007, when this pink wine came to market, it sold 800 cases. Fast-forward 10 years, and the number exceeded 300,000.
A more-than-pleasant pink wine at a more-than-pleasant price point.
#2 Porcupine Ridge
Leaving behind the vineyards of France we take flight to the Cape to discover Porcupine Ridge. It’s a juice pink win with a strawberry flavour that fits perfect with the warmer weather of summer.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t make the grade in winter. You know in the long, grey days of winter when we start to hanker after a little warmth but spring is still so far away, reaching for this lively little number could transport you across time to when the warm sun will shine again.
If you have a get-together at Christmas (social distancing rules dependent!), this smashing bottle of pink wine would certainly be a popular choice.
#3 Esprit de Buganay
Heading back to southern France, we now bring you the very pale pink wine that is Espirit de Buganay.
Not everyone has fallen in love with rosé, we understand. It could be the overly fruity taste on the nose that some find off-putting or maybe they can’t get past the idea that a pale pink wine is too lightweight, too flimsy and too simple.
For example, think of the deep flavours of a lamb roast and you won’t necessarily assume to match it with a pink wine. Reach for the red!, you may champion but if you reach for this bottle instead, you’ll be greeted with a textured, full flavour, a far cry from the paleness of its colour.
It has everything for the palate – a heady flush of red berry fruits but a hint of subtle spices on the breeze, the perfect foil for the deep flavours of roasted red meats. Equally at home with white meats and fish dishes too, you’ll be welcoming pleasant Mediterranean notes into your winter dinner parties.
#4 Castello Monaci Kreos Rosé
There’s hardly anything that the Italians don’t do well when it comes to wine and so it would be remiss to leave this off the list. Whereas all the other rosé’s thus far have had a pale pink hue, this is a ruby-red pink wine that hits all the right notes.
Berries and summer mingle happily with floral aromas which, in our book, makes it the perfect accompaniment for lighter meals during the chillier months of autumn and winter. Sitting perfectly well with pasta dishes, it is a delight alongside delicate flavours of fish and shellfish, as well as chicken and other lighter meat and vegetarian dishes.
A wine for all seasons and all dishes
Our tastes do change with the seasons but that doesn’t mean that you have to drastically alter or exclude your favourite tipple, unless you want to of course. A pleasant rosé is a delight whether the sun it at its hottest or there is a chill in the air. Better still, pink wine goes well with so many dishes that it’s no wonder more and more of us are turning to the blush wine.