Yes way, Rosé!
Eight of the prettiest pink drinks for summer soirees.
The rosé revolution is gathering pace - and pink is the new prosecco. Nothing signals summer like a gleaming glass of rose. And chances are, if you're a serious rose lover, you'll be dipping into a pretty pink palette come rain or shine.
Far from frivolous, Provencal pinks, with their pale assets, have been basking in the spotlight for some years now. But with a wealth of styles joining the glitzy line-up, quality at all price points, and supermarkets proffering a shimmering array of roses, there's never been a better time to think pink.
Indeed, Marks & Spencer are citing rose as the new prosecco, with sales up 20 per cent on last May. Last year's Specialist Rose Merchant of the Year at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) Awards 2018, they have more than 30 different rosés to choose from.
"Just a few weeks since its release, our new Provence style rose, La Dame en Rose, has already outsold our bestselling prosecco, which shows just how popular it is," says Belinda Kleinig, M&S Rose winemaker and expert.
And there couldn't be a more exciting time to quench our thirst for 'barely there blush', with a string of new releases blossoming onto the wine scene.
Sainsbury's have a growing range of premium rose wines and Louise Lynch, product developer for beers, wines and spirits, notes it's the style of choice for many customers over the summer months, with sales increasing by 30- 40 per cent in hot weather. "We're thrilled to be offering a wide range of pink wines this year, including our new Taste the Difference English Rose ," says Lynch.
"We're continuing to see more of our customers explore English wines and with a fantastic summer last year, we're expecting this wine to be a popular option. With elegant notes of wild strawberries, ripe peaches and a hint of elderflower, it embodies the flavours of an English summer."
Ready to paint the town pink? Here are six more refreshingly dry styles to embrace...
1. Exquisite Selection Sud de France Rose 2018, IGP Pays d'Oc, France
It's not new on the shelves, but in the hands of talented winemaker Jean-Claude Mas, this juicy, fruity, vibrant rose always tastes youthful and fun, with its pretty strawberry aromas and a flush of bright berry and cherry flavours offering an appealing, mouth-watering finish.
2. Rose Mediterranee 2018, France
At the softer end of the pink spectrum, SPAR'S new rose is a delicate style and offers faint florals with savoury, summer fruit flavours and a thread of fresh acidity. It's not hugely concentrated but has a lovely, stony freshness if you want to drink in a Riviera lifestyle - and goes down a treat with a well garnished salad nicoise.
3. Cavit Terrazze della Luna Pinot Grigio Rosato 2018, Italy
Here we have a pale, baby pink that's fresh and fruity with a lovely roundness to the soft yellow apple and pear notes, with a smooth, silky palate and a ripe, crisp, finish. Very appealing and delicious as an aperitif, with shellfish, or shavings of Parmesan cheese as the winemaker suggests.
4. Cotes de Provence Saint Victoire Rose 2018, France
A beautiful ballerina pink that's suave and elegant with a bouquet of dried berries, floral accents and candied citrus fruits, plus cherry, plum and ripe citrus supported by moderate acidity. There's an alluring silkiness that lets the flavours shine through.
5. Domaine Du Grand Cros, Le Grand Cros Rose 2018, AOP Cotes de Provence, France
Fragrant with aromas of freshly crushed berries and exotic fruits, a hint of mango lends a touch of richness to the fresh, round palate, with some herbal notes in the mix and a creamy note adding extra elegance with plenty of freshness on the finish. Brilliant with Provencal staples such as bouillabaisse (fish stew).
6. Fleur de Mer, Cotes de Provence Rose 2018, France
The nose has dainty floral aromas, leading to a textured, silky palate with white peach, cherry and the merest hint of watermelon, fresh herbal notes and a delicate mineral core followed by crisp acidity. Refreshingly delicious, Fleur de Mer looks good, tastes good, and makes you want to run to the lavender fields of Provence.