Join Wine Utopia (and Kylie) in the Pink Drink revolution: refreshing Rosé for a relaxing, rosy summer
We have ambled through April and now marched into May with the scent of pink cherry blossom wafting in the air.
Yes, pink is the colour of the season from fashion to fizz. Kylie Minogue has launched her new Sparkling Rosé Prosecco – the latest addition to her eponymous wine collection. (BTW, Kylie’s Zoom name is ‘Wine o’clock” – my kinda lady.)
From the ancient Roman Spring flower festival of Floralia and the Celtic Beltane which marks a time of rebirth of nature and fertility, May Day is widely celebrated by dancing around the floral Maypole, music and revelry.
The Germans raise a toast with a glass of Maiwein, an aromatic wine flavoured with sweet woodruff and in Finland, it’s Sima, a version of Mead made from fermented honey.
For a pink alternative to Maiwein, ‘Wine Utopia’ is promoting an enticing selection of Rosè wines to enjoy as we plan summer picnics and barbecues with family and friends again this summer.
If you usually choose between white and red, ring the changes as this is now the season to try something half way between.
As the eminent wine expert Hugh Johnson explains, “ Pink wines are made as though they were going to be red until the winemakers suddenly change their mind. … a white wine of red grapes, stained with the skins.”
Like an artist’s palette, Rosè can vary from the palest, off-white shade known as Vin Gris, (or in California as ‘blush’), a soft camisole pink and a light onion-skin amber colour, depending on the maceration time with the red grape skins.
From a perfect Pinot Noir to an organic Provençal, Wine Utopia has selected their favourite French Rosé wines from Pays D’Oc, Languedoc and Provence renowned for excellent terroirs to produce speciality grape varieties.
Lieux Perdus Pinot Noir Rosé, Pays D’Oc
Pays d’Oc wines cover the entire Languedoc-Roussillon area and quality is a key factor to achieve this identification as each of the certified wines is tasted by a panel to be selected. The charming name Lieux Perdus translates as ‘Lost Places’ and this glorious beach scene on the label expresses a sense of escapism and a feeling of being free-spirited. Just what we need post lockdown!
This delicate Rosé is made using Pinot Noir grapes gently pressed to extract the colour without tannin and cool vinified to capture all the delicate aromatics and flavours. A shade of pretty pink with a light, dry texture and taste yet packed full of creamy red fruit.
This Rosé is ideal with appetisers, salads, pasta and seafood – and just imagine sitting in the sunshine overlooking a sandy beach in the South of France.
Château Gairoird Rosé, Côtes de Provence
Château Gairoird produces organic wines on its 45 hectare Domaine halfway between Marseille and Saint-Tropez in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Here Olivier Pierrefeu grows numerous cépages including Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle, Syrah and Tibouren, perfect for classic Provence rosé. Harvested by night to make this Rosé de presse, the juice is cool-fermented for a few weeks in stainless steel tanks.
A classic, gastronomic Provence rosé, deep salmon pink with fresh aromas of grapefruit, peach, strawberry and floral notes which burst on the palate. Organic, vegan and low calorie so ideal for a healthy diet.! Well-suited to a range of dishes – crab, tuna tartare, sushi, linguine with tomato and olive sauce. In Provence it may be served with bouillabaisse fish stew and also complements a creamy goat cheese.
Domaine d’Hondrat Cuvée Elle & Lui Rosé, Languedoc
The historic Domaine d’Hondrat is situated in the heart of Bassin de Thau in Languedoc-Roussillon. Romain Vigroux, the owner, always recalls his great-grandfather’s words, “Wine is a matter of Tradition and Family through passion.” This is reflected in the beautifully designed bottle with a glass stopper, rather like a classic French designer fragrance and the name “Elle & Lui” (“she and him”) expresses the love shared between a couple.
This elegant wine is made of 60% Grenache Gris and 40% Mourvédre grapes. A pale pink colour with silvery glints, there are subtle aromas of white fruits and tangerine, well balanced by a fresh citrusy tang on the finish. A delicious match with seafood, pasta, white meats and cheese or simply sip on its own.
Pasquiers Grenache Cinsault Rose 2019, Languedoc
As Wine Utopia say:
‘Our best selling Rosé – very pale pink, dry and delicate on the palate, with subtle aromas of wild strawberries and spice. The ultimate refreshing summer quaffer!’
The key to producing the best Rosé is based on individual and unique ‘batches’ – Winemaker-in-chief, Eric Monnin tastes the wines from each vat after fermentation of the Grenache and Cinsault grapes to select the perfectly crafted blends in this classic Rosé de presse.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to taste this Pays d’Oc quality wine:
First a whiff of fragrant blossom, then a fresh flavour of ripe melon and soft red berries with underlying spice and a lingering dry finish. Just like strawberries can be served with a sprinkle of black pepper or dash of Balsamic vinegar, this blend of juicy sweet fruits with a sharp tang creates a delicately smooth, well rounded character. This is indeed so quaffable.!
Like most Rosé wines, simply serve well chilled with appetisers and also, of course, with Mediterranean cuisine – grilled vegetables, risotto, chicken salad, shellfish, grilled salmon as well as perhaps with strawberry and raspberry desserts.
So, be fashionably ‘in the pink’ this summer, by cracking open a few refreshingly light and fruity Rosé wines – the taste of the summer sun in a glass …..wherever you may be.
Founded in 2011, Wine Utopia is an independent wine merchant in Hampshire, England.
Their motto is “to share and highlight a variety of unique wines from vineyards around the world to help you curate a wine rack for your every mood or occasion.”
The business has since developed a fine reputation for their staff who offer a personal, informed and attentive service. Wines by the bottle and 6 and 12 bottle cases with specially selected collections and seasonal offers.
Take a look at the selection of Rosé and a diverse choice of other international wines, beers and spirits.
As hospitality opens up again there will be special events, tastings and winemaker dinners.
Wine Utopia has two stores located on the High Street, Stockbridge, Hampshire and London Road, Kings Worthy, Winchester as well as their on line shop for home delivery.
What their happy customers say:
Great wine and absolutely fantastic service both in shop and online. I would recommend any wine lover give them a try.
Excellent service and swift delivery of my first order today.
Great selection and knowledgeable and friendly staff
The Wine Utopia Club
Starting from only £30 per month, receive a box of personally selected wines every two or three months. Perfect for gifts too. Exclusive WU Club perks and high-quality wines from independent growers around the world. Members only Tasting events.