WINE RICHARD EHRLICH I only think pink, if the price is right

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

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.

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