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WINING & DINING - WINE EXPERT


All well and good you say...but, even taking all the above into account, why is there a general lack of respect for rosé wine? I suspect it is to do with involvement. I think it can be true, in some instances, that perhaps when we enjoy a so called 'serious wine' we either consciously or sub-consciously give it a kudos and level of tasting commitment that we seem to be unwilling to do when it is a rosé.


However, in my opinion, this is exactly why good rosé wine has grown in popularity. Many people, understandably so, do not want to be 'involved' with their wine every time they pop a cork. They would just like a pleasant drink that enhances their meal (which many rosé's do...) or lubricates a social occasion. I think we can all (and I am in the front of the queue) relate to the honesty of that.


An awful lot of wines are now made with 'serious' intent, regardless of whether the wine in question should be. We see this all the time...lots of oak, over ripe and extracted fruit, heavy bottles etc. all meant to convey to us, the consumer, the stature of the wine we are drinking, to say nothing of the justification of a higher price!!!


It then becomes very easy to say that if we are not prepared to drink 'serious' wines then it follows that we are not truly interested in wine – an outrageous statement in my view and rather like saying that unless you produce Michelin standard food in your kitchen each day you are not interested in food…an equally ridiculous statement.


So...the next time you find yourself at a social gathering, about to mutter under your breath that you would rather like a glass of rosé, I suggest you shout your preference loud and proud and wait to see how many follow your lead...


Now, because I am not completely heartless or unromantic, I thought I would recommend a few bottles of fizz that may go down well during an intimate 'dinner à deux' for Valentines. I have decided to go English on this occasion because I think there are some very good wines indeed produced here that deserve to have the spotlight for at least one day of the year. With that in mind, if Cupid happens to drop any of these into my lap then I shall be more than happy...


Chapel Down Pinot Reserve 2004: A wine with great depth and autolytic character which in turn makes it very versatile with food - light and aromatic fusion food or perhaps more earthy foie gras, mushroom risotto or truffle dishes.


Ridgeview Bloomsbury 2007, Sussex: This has a lovely richness that would marry well with game, but also Dover sole or oysters.


Hush Heath Balfour Brut Rosé, 2006, Kent: Freshness with complexity gives this elegant, well balanced rosé a lot of scope. A seafood risotto, plates of prosciutto, carpaccio with chorizo, any of these would be delicious.


Meopham Valley, Sparkling Rosé 2005, Kent: Zingy and fresh, lots of strawberry and raspberry fruit on the palate and good acidity. This is an excellent food rosé, perhaps chicken schnitzel or a pear, rocket and walnut salad.


I wish all of you a very enjoyable Valentine's Day, wherever you are and whoever you are with. It's always good for the soul to spoil ourselves a little and so I hope you do...Don't forget to pour an extra glass for Cupid...


Santé / 75


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