WINE RICHARD EHRLICH I only think pink, if the price is right
In reporting the most recent results from Majestic Wine Warehouse, published an astonishing figure: sales of rosé from Provence had increased by a whopping 84 per cent over the year. Majestic confirmed the figure for me, and also said it compared with an overall increase of 20 per cent for rosé in general. Within the world of rosé, Provence is on the pricier end of the spectrum. Rosé can be very enjoyable in the right circumstances (sunny afternoon, terrace, bowl of olives, etc). But it is not, in my view, a breed of wines that warrants the expenditure of large quantities of cash. If I’m going to spend £15, which some of Majestic’s pink wines cost, I’d rather spend it on something red or white. This is a matter of personal taste (also known as prejudice).
Prejudice or not, I reserve my right to prefer certain wines to sit reasonably close to the bottom of the price scale. So I am much happier paying £5.99 for the sweetly juicy Fish Hoek Pinotage Rosé 2012 than the usual £7.99 charged at Waitrose. At the higher price it’s a bit of a stretch; at the lower price, it’s a pleasure. Vinho Verde is another wine that suffers from my price-prejudice, even though I know full well that some are very serious wines. But once again it thrills me to see an old favourite, Quinta de Azevedo 2013, down to £6.98 from £8.99 at Majestic. Low alcohol (hooray for 11 per cent) and light fizziness make this a perfect winey apéritif, especially at lunchtime.
Finally: while I never complain about the price of first-rate Chenin Blanc, especially if it comes from the Loire or South Africa, that doesn’t mean I’m immune to another pricecut thrill.
This one’s for Zalze Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012, from £10 to £7 at Sainsbury’s starting on 2 July. This deftly oaked beauty from the Western Cape is a seriously complex wine, and a terrific match for spicy food. Take along a handful of £7 notes and buy them all.