Ten Rosés for Valentine’s Day
Please don’t think that this celebration of rosé is some sort of clichéd, sappy, romantic wine gesture. My intention is that it is a timely celebration of this beguiling style of wine and the timing is just about right for any lovers out there as a coincidence. Anyway, the following ten wines are sensational and also superbly adept at matching to a very wide range of food, so buy, pour, treat and enjoy with abandon.
2005 Green Point, Brut Rosé, Australia (£19.99, reduced to £14.99, if you buy 2, Majestic). One of the most beautifully pink-tinged and succulent rosés from Australia, Green Point is a world class creation and at this price it is far better than any budget rosé Champagne you might see on the shelves. Stunning as an aperitif and also characterful enough for serious canapés and starters.
NV Lindauer Rosé, New Zealand (£9.99, reduced to £7.99, if you buy 2, Majestic). This incredible wine is a complete bargain and yet it still manages to deliver a very classy flavour with crisp acidity and gentle bubbles. Lindauer is one of New Zealand’s hidden gems, so keep your eyes peeled for this wine.
NV La Jara, Pinot Grigio Rosé Brut, Veneto, Italy (£13.50, SWIG tel. 08000 272272 & www.swig.co.uk, WoodWinters tel. 01786 834 894, Noel Young tel. 01223 844 744). Not many people know this, but pinot grigio has a pink skin (literally ‘grey’ from grigio) and so if you crush the grapes gently you can pick up a stunning pink hue from these organically grown tiptop grapes. La Jara is jaw-droppingly beautiful and ultra-rare. Made by a Prosecco genius, this is one of the most alluring fizzies I have tasted in years.
2009 Beaujolais Rosé, Domaine Jean-Charles Pivot, Burgundy, France (£9.00, Domaine Direct tel. 020 7837 1142). Make a rosé from the juicy Beaujolais grape gamay and you get a pure raspberry juice cocktail with a snappy, frisky finish. I have known Jean-Charles for twenty years and he is one of the pioneering experts in the region. This is heaven in a glass, particularly when drunk with sushi!
2009 Mas de Cadenet Sainte Victoire, Côtes de Provence, France (£8.95, www.fromvineyardsdirect.com & tel. 020 7490 9910). When I found out that there were magnums of this epic rosé on offer I couldn’t believe it! This delicious, creamy-soft rosé is a delight and it is perfect for celebrations in the ‘double-bottle’ size. Smooth, cherry-scented and irresistible, you could drink this with red meat, such is quality and in spite of its innocent colour.
2008 St Hallett Rosé, Barossa Valley, South Australia (£5.59, Waitrose). This is the chunkiest and most forceful, butch rosé on the page and it is built for more robust entertaining. The ludicrously low price worth taking advantage off because St Hallett is a stellar producer in Australia.
2009 Château Saint Baillon, Réserve du Château, Côtes de Provence, France (£9.22, Goedhuis tel. 020 7793 7900 & www.goedhuis.com). This almost water white coloured rosé looks so fairy light and tender that you might dismiss it as a wishy-washy creation. But this would be a huge error, because the weight and impact of this sumptuous wine are incredible. Surprise your loved ones with this beguiling, hedonistic rosé.
NV Forget-Brimont Rosé, Champagne, France (£22.59, www.justerinis.com & tel. 020 7484 6400). The finest value rosé fizz on the shelves, this little-known name is a sensation because it emulates the more famous houses accurately, but at half the price. Intricate bubbles and a scintillating colour make this an unmissable wine.
NV Bollinger Rosé, Champagne, France (£45.00, Waitrose, Berry Bros & Rudd tel. 0800 280 2440, Majestic, Selfridges tel. 0800 123400). Bolly makes a heroic rosé and it has more power than many. I wouldn’t think twice about serving this with a main course because the layers of wild berry flavours are out of this world. This level of romancing must surely mark you out as a true Casanova. Your other half is a very lucky person indeed.
NV Billecart-Salmon Rosé, Champagne, France (£59.00, Harrods tel. 020 7730 1234, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols tel. 020 7201 8535, Corks Out tel. 01925 267700, Berry Bros & Rudd, James Nicholson tel. 028 4483 0091, Jeroboams tel. 020 7288 8850). Another legendary rosé and one with a more ethereal flavour than many, Billecart is a connoisseur’s choice and it is another ‘wine’ which can manage to complement a vast range of dishes even though it looks so demure in the glass.