[Insert Rosé Wine Pun Here]

OK, it is almost impossible to come up with a Rose/Rosé pun that has not already been tried, so I won’t try.

Earlier this week Bibendum co-hosted a tasting of 17 not-red-and-not-white wines at 101 Pimlico Road (read Willie’s post on this event here, and @winewomansong‘s interpretation here).

First, the wines. I say “not-red-and-not-white” because in truth, there is such a variety to Rosé/Pink wines that it is hard to clarify exactly what the category means. I think a few of the other tasters would agree. Since the explosion of rosé consumption in the UK in 2003, the category has grown from around 3% of wine sold to over 10% (and probably much more). That’s a lot, but what KIND of wines are they?

The truth is that most of the Rosé category is still in the blush style – off-dry, relatively deep coloured and pretty simple stuff. You know what I mean. White Zinfandel/Grenache/Syrah bottlings from California mainly.

However, the good news is that although most of the stuff sold is not that great, it is encouraging other producers, importers and restaurants to look at the category and innovate.

Of the 17 wines (6 Sparkling and 11 still) on offer, I could honestly say I enjoyed almost all of them (I suspect one wine was faulty). The stars were those you might expect; Bruno Paillard Brut Rosé Premiere Cuvee NV (Champagne) and a Lafon Roset 2009 (Bordeaux). However, the interesting results were elsewhere:

  • Balfour Brut Rosé 2006 (England) – a sparkling wine from the UK. Not cheap, but a very nicely balanced, complex wine. I personally think this has improved dramatically in the last couple of vintages (I never used to like it TBH)
  • Bisol Jeio Rosé NV (Italy) – not expensive, but a very enjoyable tipple. The bubbles are very elegant and the taste is just right – just off-dry enough to make you want to drink lots of it
  • Agustinos Syrah Rose 2009 (Chile) – The most red-wine-like of the rosé category on offer. More herbal and full-bodied than most others. A good BBQ wine I think.

Despite enjoying these wines, I am still left wondering how we are supposed to really enjoy rosé wine? On its own, with food, as a cheap & fun wine or one worthy of serious contemplation? I guess it depends on each individual wine. I think someone suggested that next time we actually sit down and drink ONLY rosé wine throughout a whole meal to show its versatility. Count me in!

Now, on to the food.

I won’t say too much, but will share some photos. There were lots of different tasters to try throughout the tasting, unfortunately I did not get a photo of all of them. My favourites were the foie-gras burger (with quail egg on top), the slice of beef (interesting match with the wines) and a tuna dish whose details I did not catch but tasted heavenly.

The quality of the food we tasted was VERY good and I definitely need to head back to 101 Pimlico Road. Keith Goddard and Will Guess who run this were both very engaging company and I’m sure will make a great success of this place. I believe they are even planning a BYO evening where you can bring (and share) your own bottles to match Keith’s cuisine. I think that is a great idea as my own cooking is simply not up to the expectations I have for a few of my bottles.

Thanks Bibendum and 101 Pimlico Road.

Now, where’s my summer gone?

  • Robert McIntosh

    Oops, forgot to add tag – #101rose post now up