Four rocking rosé wines to brighten up your summer (and a craft-y beer)

Nusrat Ghani

Pink wine sales have doubled in the last year, with shoppers preferring the pink stuff more than ever before. Indeed, the country’s thirst for pink drinks shows no sign of being quenched, with sales of rosé Champagne up 188% at Sainsbury’s, and rosé cider sales rising by 49%.

According to the retailer’s just-published ‘Drink Pink’ report, which tracked sales from June 2020 to June 2021, sales of pink bubbly are soaring at the supermarket as the country emerges from lockdown and revelries start again.

From a lovely bubbly to a bargain bottle and a chic rosé from Provence – the hub of pink wine – to a delightful wine from Portugal, our vinous truffle hound goes on a voyage of discovery for top rosés.

These bottles will leave your taste buds tickled pink…

1) Must-try quaffable French rosé
Pays d’Herault Rosé 2020, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (12%, Aldi, £6.99).
For an all-rounder, my fragrant, summery, scented supermarket pick from Languedoc is a real peach. Crammed with lively crushed summer fruits and notes of white flowers and citrus leaf, this is the bottle to swig with summer salads (hello Niçoise!), grilled meats, Camembert and sushi. What terrific value. A delectable poolside pink. Dive in!

2) Pretty high-altitude Portuguese pink made from organically-grown grapes
Rui Madeira Beyra Rosé 2020, Beira Interior, Portugal (13%, The Wine Society, £9.95).
Nestled between Dão and the Spanish border, Beiro Interior has some of Portugal’s highest mountains. This is neither short on flavour nor interest, with typically tempting Tempranillo/Tinta Roriz (100%) aromas of red berry fruits plus some spice. Very sprightly, fresh palate, bright, with energising acidity that extends the finish and (slightly salty) aftertaste. Made from organically-grown grapes from vineyards on poor schist and quartz soils at an average altitude of 750m above sea level, it’s charming in a pristine way, finishing lengthily. Most attractive pink Portuguese drinking package.

If Provence rosé is your thing, be sure to add the seamless, organic, magical Château Vignelaure Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé 2020 (£13.50) to your next/inaugural Wine Society order. It hums with red berry fruit flavours and has class right down to its fingers and toes. It’s the best sub-£15 Provençal pink I’ve tasted all year and one for seafood paella and bouillabaisse. Bonjour, holidays. Tell the world!

3) From the French Riviera for those ‘sand in your toes’ moments…
Figuière Première Rosé 2020, Côtes-de-Provence, France (13%, Vinatis, Bon Coeur Wines & Jascots, £16.64-£18.98).
Crisp, elegant, and always presented in a dashing bottle that is sure to be a talking point. Who said it was necessary to leave our shores to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean this summer? The world-conquering Provence rosé paradigm goes from strength to strength.  With trips away still a dream for many of us, let the enticing and sophisticated flavours of Vins de Provence rosé wines bring a little Med style and sunshine to your summer. Whether you’re having a game of frisbee in the park with friends, a picnic on an overcast day, or simply enjoying a chilled glass of wine at your garden, a sip of Vins de Provence rosé will transport you to the picturesque olive groves, hilltop villages, lavender fields, fragrant bougainvillea and turquoise waters of the South of France.
Silky and magical with expressive wild strawberry, white peach, apricot and spicy citrus fruit scents, I adore this classy rosé as both an elegant aperitif and dinner party treat. Ticks boxes all along the way. And it’s organic, too (for nearly 40 years!) Elegance personified. Persistence more than passes the test. Like most still pink wines, serve between 8-10°C. Sophisticated, sensational and particularly good with food, I especially enjoy it with canapés, shellfish, grilled wild sea bass/sea bream, or a roast leg of lamb hot off the BBQ.  One also for sushi (hello again Kitsu Tunbridge Wells!) Outstanding.

4) Best NV pink Champagne offer
Les Pionniers Brut Rosé NV Champagne, France (12%, Co-op, £20 offer until August 17, usually £22).
It’s not a well-kept ‘secret’ that Co-op’s own-label Champers is blended exclusively by the illustrious resurgent Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck. If you like your bubbly dry, then you’ll love this: It’s energetic and pungent, all red fruits sparkling like stars on a clear night, with a light biscuity note – not too complicated, tart or dry. An absolute charmer and a bargain on the offer (normally £22), but only until August 17. You have the scoop. Lovely stuff.

For a real summer still pink wine treat, nab Co-op’s zingy, garlicky-food-friendly, hibiscus and pomegranate-stashed Château La Négly La Natice 2020 from Languedoc (£12.50). Interest aplenty. Don’t miss out.

5) Fire up the smokey Joe! Bright and juicy craft beer for BBQ sausages & burgers
Cloudwater Pale Ale, Manchester, England (3.7%, 440ml, Tesco, £3).
Tesco predicts a 30-40% upsurge in craft beer sales this summer compared to the same period in 2019, as more customers add cans and bottles from UK breweries to their baskets. With 140 beers from 25 breweries on Tesco shelves to choose from, narrowing it down can be a difficult job.
Boldly hopped, zesty and bulging with tasty tropical and orangey refreshment, this epic Manchester Pale Ale is my go-to meaty BBQ beer this summer. Fab with burgers, hot dogs, fish and chips and sausages (pair with Tesco’s 14 Fire Pit Jumbo Pork Sausages, two for £7 with a Clubcard, 1.12kg). Full-flavoured bull’s eye beer. Barbecue days are sorted!

For vegan or veggie sausages I’d recommend Salt Beer Factory’s ace, juicy, hazy, vegan-friendly Huckaback New England IPA from West Yorkshire (5.5%, 440ml, £2.40, Tesco). BBQ pork, especially in a sweet and smoky US-style BBQ rub or marinade, is best suited to a cider like Pulpt Flare Superior South West Cider (4.9%, 500ml, £2.20, Tesco). Lots of Clubcard offers, too.





Top Côtes de Provence rosés:

2020 Ch d’Esclans Whispering Angel (and its more expensive sibling Garrus 2019

2020 Domaines Ott, Clos Mireille

2020 Ch La Mascaronne Rosé

2020 Ch Minuty M de Minuty Rosé

2020 MiP Classic Rosé


Other serious rosés:

2020 Domaine de la Mordorée ‘La Reine des Bois’ Rosé, Tavel, France.

2020 Domaine Tempier Rosé, Bandol, France.

2008/2010 Viña Tondonia Rosado, Gran Reserva, Rioja, Bodegas López de Heredia, Rioja, Spain (yes, the 2008 & 2010 still have good development potential!). Rare as hen’s teeth and resultingly rather £££.

For stockists, see 

Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine


Top Photo: © Ilfede/
Bottom Photo: © Rostislav_sedlacek/

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