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Treat yourself to an Autumn Rose

Sun 12 Sep 2010 23:20

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Whilst often tarnished by cheap imitations, a good bottle of Rose wine will have you feeling relaxed and refreshed, and not necessarily out of pocket. If you managed to steer clear of the bargain bins, there are some fine bottles to be bought in your local supermarket from all corners of the grape-growing world.

Contrary to some beliefs, Rose wine isn’t independent of red or white varieties, and is actually a paler form of red. First produced commercially in Californian in the early 1970’s, Rose is made unique through the method of removing the grape skins prior to blending. Whilst these are traditionally kept in contact with the wine when producing red, the skins are taken away when making Rose, giving rise to a weaker pinkish colour. The wine comes in a wide variety to suit specific tastes, and is a popular summertime drink.

However, the end of summer need not mean the end of Rose, as these three sparkling pinks, as picked by The Hour’s wine expert Tom Cannavan show the wine can be enjoyed all year round.

Tagus Creek, Shiraz & Touriga Nacional Rosé, Portugal
£5.99, Tesco, Waitrose

Deeply coloured and smelling like cherry lips sweeties and old roses, this is a bold, fruity blend of the French grape Shiraz and the Portugeuse Touriga Nacional, one of the main grapes used to make Port wine. On the palate there's plenty more of that cherry and rosy red apple fruit, and quite a dry and slightly spicy finish.

Tasting cues: cherry, red apple

Food match: antipasti, pork chops, fish in a red or rosé wine sauce.


Château Coussin, Provence Rosé, France
£13.99 Oddbins, £11.19 as part of a mixed case

Beautifully pale, and typically delicate peachy-pink colour, on this wine made mostly from the Grenache grape in Provence in the south of France, one of the world's greatest rosé strongholds. This comes from an organic vineyard and has very fresh, very light and delicate aromas with dry, cranberry and redcurrant fruit and a crisp, mouth-watering finish.

Tasting cues: cranberry or redcurrant, watermelon

Food match: salad Nicoise, rataouille, anything with tapenade or olives


Wolf Blass, Yellow Label Sparkling Rosé 2009, Australia
£9.99, The Co-operative - but on offer at £6.99 from September 29th

The blend is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for this vintage fizz from Wolf. It has a delicate peachy-salmon colour and decent small bubbles. There's something herby and leafy on the nose, as well as a raspberry fruit quality. In the mouth the wine is just off dry, with that soft red fruit quality playing against some lemon-fresh acidity, to make this a very easy-drinking, but quite stylish drop of fizz.

Tasting cues: raspberry, peach, leafy herbs

Food match: scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, prawn cocktail

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