The Raise a Glass feature is published every week … here’s one where I looked at summertime pinks and a couple of gins.
Oh my, it has been so hot for a few days but today it’s miserable and wet. The dog is refusing to step outside the door in the rain; and yesterday she refused to go outside in the heat. She’s not having a good week!
For me though, it’s been grand. I’ve enjoyed some pinks and some pink fizz. All for you, obviously.
Pinks are the way to go in the summer, but add a bubble or two and I’m a bit of a pushover.
I popped open Vilarnau Rosé (£12, Tesco) and hoped the wine inside would dazzle as much as the label.
This is a cava, created in a winery close to the bustling city of Barcelona. The cava’s label represents the local artform of “trencadís” which are mosaics created from broken crockery and tiles, used by artists such as Gaudi.
But we’re here for the wine. It is created from garnacha and pinot noir grapes and both deliver their signature notes in this cava.
On a hot, hot, day, we sat in the garden and savoured its aromas of roses, strawberry and raspberry and relished the creamy refreshing sip.
Another day in the sun and summertime pinks; we poured Rosa di Santa Tresa 2019 (£12.99, or £10.99 in a buy six deal at Majestic). It’s an organic wine from Vittoria in the south east of Sicily. It is made with an even split of the grapes Nero d’Avola and Frappato which are harvested by hand. That’s a sure signal that much care is taken in the creation of this wine.
Both grapes are widely used in Sicily and they bring with them the depths of flavours that a sun-soaked region delivers. The wine is dry, with an elegance of red fruits. It’s not a flirty fly-by-night kind of rosé wine.
I ventured into New Zealand for another pink offering, that of Leftfield Hawkes Bay Rosé 2019 (RRP £13.75, Waitrose). This is a smashing wine, and I poured a socially distanced glass for a friend who agreed with me. The bottle label writer described the notes of strawberry, cranberry and raspberry as “jubilant and excitable”. Which I liked, so I’ve repeated it here. The fruit definitely isn’t backward in coming forward.
A new wine to these shores is Le Météore Rosé (RRP £15.50, or six for the price of four at domainedumeteore.com). This French wine is a shy blushing pink and flirts with red fruits, a dash of citrus and a little pop of white pepper.
The grapes – cinsault, grenache noir, mourvèdre – grow in a stunning vineyard in the Languedoc which has a meteor crater at its heart. Hence the name of the wine producer – Domaine du Météore – and the wine!
Also in my glass …
I like a noggin of gin and Aldi isn’t shy when it comes to its selection. The Infusionist Lemon Sherbet Gin Liqueur (£9.99) and The Infusionist Strawberry & Marshmallow Gin Liqueur (£9.99) are flashbacks to my sweet shop days (apart from the alcohol of course). The lemon gin shivers with sherbet flavours and is tasty on its own with a crunch of ice. The strawberry one is oh-so-sweet and I bet it will be a crowd-pleaser for those who enjoy their tipples with that in mind. Chin chin.
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