When I was at university the rosé people drank usually came out of a box, with a deep pink colour and a sure headache waiting on the other end. It was for those who preferred something super sweet, the gummy berry juice of the wine world, and those who considered themselves more cultured wine drinkers would scoff and pull up their noses. It’s because of this association that many of my friends still cringe when I offer them a glass of pink. Thankfully these days we have a variety of stunning pink wines to choose from.
I’ll admit that it took me a while to convert but over the last few years I have been exposed to some beautiful, elegant pink wines and rosé, with light salmon or rose shades that look oh so pretty in a glass, and fresh, fruity floral palettes that work wonderfully on a warm afternoon.
You need to respect the soft pink shades of rosé. This colour is achieved by leaving the wine on the skins for just a few hours – leave it too long and you’ll end up with a deep pink colour. Achieving a light or salmon pink tint is quite a trick.
I think rosé and other pink wine varieties are perfect for spring, mostly because they look absolutely stunning on the lunch table but also because they pair really well with the types of food we love during this floral season. I think the notes of white flower, pear, peach and strawberry that you’ll find in these wines go well with smoked trout or salmon salads, soft cheese and fresh fruits.
So to send off Women’s Month and to welcome spring, I picked six rosés to show off this month. These are the ones I really enjoyed, I hope you like them too!
Gabriëlskloof Rosebud 2016
The Rosebud stays true to its name. It is a blend of Shiraz and Viognier, and shows off a lovely bright, light pink colour. You’ll pick up hints of rose, melon and papaya, with a hint of spicy red fruit in the background. The fruity notes are balanced by a firm acidity and I got lovely, light lemon flavour that lingered long after the sip. I think it is a perfect wine for warm afternoons. Try it with smoked salmon, crayfish, goats-cheese and sushi.
Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2016
This wine is seriously pretty, with a light, salmon pink colour that shines in your glass. It is made from 100% Mourvèdre, which gives it a fuller mouth feel than you typically get in a rosé. I got rose petal and strawberry shortbread on the nose, with a soft, candy-floss palette and a fresh acidity. Try it with trout, slow roasted beetroot or fresh strawberries.
Steenberg Rosé 2016
This light, rose pink wine won me over with hints of watermelon, strawberry and florals on the palette, and even a touch of herbaceous notes that adds an attractive freshness. I also got a caramel toffee on the linger that I really enjoyed. Try it with a chicken and avocado salad, strawberries and goats cheese.
De Krans Pinotage Rosé 2016
De Krans has become quite famous for their port, and this year they have launched their first Pinotage Rosé. It has a light salmon colour that I found very attractive, and I picked up watermelon, strawberries, and raspberries on the palette. It lingers towards the sweeter side but it still has a fresh acidity to balance it out. Try it with sushi, grilled chicken or seafood.
Foothills Vineyards Rosé
This pale pink Rosé is made from a blend of Shiraz, Semillon and Viognier. I got a toasted biscuits, Rooibos tea and white flowers on the nose, and a fresh, white peach palette. There is also a green bitterness on the linger that I really enjoyed, helping to balance out the sweet notes. Try pairing it with green olives, basil pesto and chicken.
Angel Tears Rosé 2016
I’ll admit that I fell for the label on this bottle before I even tried the wine. Made primarily from Cinsaut, it has a delicate pink colour and a fruity, peach-driven nose. I got stone fruit on the palette, with ripe apricot and soft pear. I found the wine develops more flavour if you leave it out of the fridge for a tiny bit. It should definitely be chilled, but give it a few minutes in the glass before sipping. Try it with salads, fresh fruit and seafood dishes. It should also work well with creamy pasta dishes.
I hope you enjoy this selection. If you have any other wines to recommend, please pop them in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!