There’s no need to travel to Provence to enjoy some of the best rosé wines around
Until recently, I’d never been a rosé fan, scarred by an evening of quaffing too much white zinfandel one night while at university. It would always remind me of that sickly-sweet flavour of candyfloss and I’ve never really had much of a sweet tooth.
It still isn’t necessarily my first choice but I’ve come to try a number of rosé wines in more recent times that have changed my mind – including a number of fabulous rosé wines from the South East.
England’s climate is pretty good for the production of grapes used in light Provence-style rosé wines and the vineyards of Kent, Surrey and Sussex make some fantastic varieties.
Chilworth Manor Rosé
I first tried the 2018 vintage of this at the Vineyards of the Surrey Hills launch dinner in 2019, where Emily Lambert, of Million Pound Menu and Emily English Wines fame, was in charge of pairing wines for a five-course meal of locally-sourced dishes prepared by A Table Outside. She picked this Provence-style rose, made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, to go with a trout ceviche thanks to its nuances of fresh strawberries and cassis.
The 2019 release is out now, price: £17.50
Silent Pool Rosé
Silent Pool Rosé was served by The Queen on the Royal Barge for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and is an elegant, English pink, made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes at Albury Organic Vineyard in Surrey. It has crisp, subtle and fresh, summer fruit ‘strawberry and cream’ flavours and goes particularly well with asparagus. The 2019 release, which has a cork closure, instead of a screw cap, is out now, price: £18.95
Simpsons Estate Railway Hill Rosé
If the bottle alone isn’t enough reason to buy this wine from Simpsons Vineyard in Canterbury, Kent, then buy it for the 100 per cent pinot noir grapes which give it a delicate pink colour with clean stone fruits flavours edged with crisp scents of lime and grapefruit.
Hush Heath Nanette’s English Rosé
While this is another beautifully-pale rosé from Kent, it’s a surprising full blend of Regent, Dornfelder, Pinot noir, Meunier, Chardonnay and Bacchus, providing rounded, complex fruit flavours and a long, food-friendly finish. Try with green salads, seafood and soft or blue cheeses. The 2019 vintage is available now, price £18
Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé
There’s something rather special about a sparkling rosé and Ridgeview’s Fitzrovia Rosé is no exception – it was even served Barack Obama by Her Majesty the Queen at the Buckingham Palace State Banquet in 2011. From its delicate salmon colour to the abundance of fine bubbles which fill the glass, this is an elegant choice from the South Downs in Sussex and perfect for a special occasion. Pair with lobster (well why not go all out) and sunshine.