Consumers’ love affair with Rosé wine is certainly showing no signs of losing its passion. Last year, more than one in every ten bottles of wine sold in the UK was pink and over the summer it was more than one in eight. The hot weather probably helped but Rosé has been the most exciting category in wine for some years now and, whilst there is some clear seasonality, it has established itself as a key part of retailers’ wine ranges throughout the year.
Marketing has played a big part to the growth with smart branding, attractive packaging and film star associations all helping to create a perception, deservedly in many cases, of improved quality. The current fashion is for exotically-bottled pale Provence-style rosé, with soft texture and barely perceptible tannins.
But is it good value? Prices for Provence Rosés have edged up relentlessly and are often above £10 per bottle, sometimes £20 or more. In many cases, that is hard to justify.We tend to find value elsewhere. Rosés from the Rhône Valley, Tavel for example, tend to be deeper in colour, more textured but now less rustic than in the past and the quality has definitely improved. There are some excellent and good value wines coming out of areas like Navarra in Northern Spain. Nor should the New World be ignored.
We have put together some recommendation at £7 and under that outperform for their price and offer good value all-year-round drinking. The first is from New Zealand and offers reliable quality at an attractive price.
Wairau Cove Rosé
From: Tesco Price: £6.00 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £7.00 Tasting note:Fresh, commecial wine with juicy Sauvignon Blanc-like character: citrus, green apples, nettles and cut herbs
The second is a well-made Rosé from Beaujolais, using the same Gamay grape as traditional red wines from the region, delivering a fresh, fruity wine.
Aldi Beaujolais Rosé
From: ALDI Price: £5.99 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £6.50 Tasting note:Fresh, youthful, dry rose with some juicy red berry fruit on the clean palate
Rosé from the Rhone Valley tends to be a little more expensive but this is a good example from Vaucluse, one of the less fashionable but up-and-coming denominations.
Rosé la Princesse From: Iceland Price: £6.00 The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £6.50 Tasting note: Strawberry, raspberry and citrus. The mouth is fresh, generous and fruity.
Rosé is almost always made from red varieties but this is unusual in being from a white grape. Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris can have a hint of natural pink and this takes it a little further by allowing more skin contact. It is a simple wine but well-priced.