Red Wine Tasting

Start exploring the wonderful world of red wine in this 90 minute tasting session.

White Wine Tasting

Begin your journey into the depths of the white wines of the world in this 90 minute tasting session.

Climate Tasting

Journey across the world with this 90 minute horizontal tasting session showing how different grape growing climates can affect the final wine. 

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Ros-yay or Ros-nay?

When someone suggests drinking a Rosé wine, I have to be honest, my heart sinks a little at the prospect that if I say yes, I’m going to be presented with a generic medium-sweet white Zinfandel straight out of the vineyards in California or that time-old favourite, Mateus Rosé. Don’t get me wrong, I have some very fond memories of drinking a Blossom Hill with the girls in the sunshine, but now it feels more like drinking squash, which inevitably means it goes down too quickly and sneaks up on me later. Today’s mass produced Rosés have a low alcohol and medium-high sugar content, which often makes people think they are simply a mix of white and red wine with a bit of added sugar! But that’s not what they are and with so many grape varieties out there capable of creating a crisp, exciting Rosé wines that it seems almost criminal to not explore what’s on offer.

So a couple of weeks ago, when we had those few fleeting days of an early April heatwave, before the snow and frost crept back in, I took my cousin on a Rosé journey around the world—she may have laughed and thought I was strange when I suggested an afternoon of Rosé. I don’t think I’ve even suggested drinking Rosés to her in at least the last 5/6 years, but when I specifically stated “No White Zinfandel” (don’t confuse white Zinfandel with white wine!) I’m sure she wondered what she’d got herself into. 

First up on the tasting card was the ‘Arabella Pink Panacea’ from my latest Naked Wines order. This wine is almost a salmon pink colour, so much so I wondered if the bottle had been tinted! It felt like every mouthful was bursting with delicious strawberry and raspberry fruit, but had a perfectly crisp finish and was so refreshingly dry that its light freshness was the perfect balance for the warm summer day. Produced in the Western Cape in South Africa this wine is made with Grenache wine grapes.    

Second wine was my cousin’s choice, ‘Ramón Bilbao Garnacha’ from The Co-Operative, a dry pale blush coloured wine that offered delicate ripe, red berry aromas. The Garnacha grapes grown to make this wine have been influenced by head winemaker Rodolfo Bastida whose passion for growing grapes at altitude allows the grapes to develop the fresh red fruit aromas and flavours that he wants in his wines even in the heat of the Rioja region.

And our final was a joint decision of ‘Pinot Rosé Vino Spumante’ from Sainsburys, a lively sparkling Rosé with intense aromas of violet and rose and fresh flavours of strawberry and raspberry that was a delight to end the day on. Normally I prefer a sparkling wine to have a little more of the residual sugar (I prefer a dry sparkling wine or more often in the warmer weathers a Demi-Sec over an Extra-Dry), but this wine beautifully pulled through the fresh fruit flavours and paired well with the nibbles that we had that I have to say I didn’t mind the dryness of it. 

Each wine was unique and a refreshing change to the White Zinfandels of the world that you may find yourself faced with if offered a glass at a friend’s, a party or even on the wine list at a bar. For us, the day certainly ended with a Ros-yay at the prospect of having Rosé again.