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Dropping onto Tooley Street from London Bridge on a wet and wintry Monday evening hardly imbues the soul with the joy of life and, given a choice of beverage, I doubt I would opt for a cool rosé. However, remove the element of choice and thrust a glass of Lebanese Chateau Ksara, Sunset Rosé 2017, into my mit and the effect is both surprising and uplifting.
The room at the Comptoir Libanais restaurant was packed with food and wine people bustling around chatting and taking off various layers before the food and wine tasting began. What interested me most is that everyone I spoke to was, like me, really enjoying the rosé. Add to this that I had just received a couple of other rosé samples delivered to the office of Provencal origin, and I couldn’t help sensing that something pink is in the air!
Flavourful, fruity, but mostly uplifting
Rosé seems to lead a troubled existence. Often scorned for its feminine hue, derided for its lack of seriousness, quaffed for its perceived …. well… enjoyment… I have picked out 4 examples to recommend here that I have found to be particularly delicious from different regions with different grapes.
Blend: Cabernet Franc & Syrah
Bright garish pink colour, Strawberry dominant aromas, fruit and spice to taste with a good fresh acidic structure. Invigorating with a pleasingly clean finish. Highly gastronomic rosé wine; pairs exceptionally well with roasted vegetables, mezze style dishes, good conversation...
Stockists: RRP: £11-12.50 from Whole Foods, Fintry Wines
Blend: Cinsalt, Syrah, Grenache
Really delicious red ripe fruit, creamy and long with a clean pleasing finish. Really enjoyed this. Superb pick-me-up wine to welcome in any evening. Pairs exceptionally well with coconut and lentil curry with greens and light spices. No wonder they call it the charmeur!
RRP £13.68 from Private Cellar
Blend: Touriga National, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz
Having just returned from the Dao region I have these grapes indelibly stenciled into my psyche - the modern Dao style is fresh fruit, herbecious and elegant. No oak, no over extraction but delicate aromas and a lightness of touch on the palate that keeps the drinker returning for more. Very pleased to include the Opta Rosé from Boas quintas in the mix.
Grapes: Kekfrankos (Blaufrankisch in Austria/Germany)
Hatchwell Antiques are based on the Kings Road in West London. Visit our website to find lout more and come and view our Kings Road showroom.
Kekfrankos is an unsung hero of central European red and rosé winemaking. It blends well and also produces these fabulous rosé wines. Super refreshing with crisp pear and raspberry flavours. Pairs exceptionally well with vegetable wintry broths. Their vineyards are located on volcanic soils and these wines have a distinct otherness to them that is hard to put down to coincidence. Ther labels hint at the source of their fresh vibrant (volcanic?) profile.
UK importer: Novel Wines (novelwines.co.uk)
An aperitif by the coliseum
As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
Britain’s lamentable exit
On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.
I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.
Interview: (Re)Defining the Entre-Deux-Mers, climate change & tasting with Stephane Dupuch
Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch.