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For best results, just add sunshine and a picnic basket. What follows is a round up of some of the hottest pink wines in the market.
The Blouberg Rosé ($7.99) is an unusual blend of South African sauvignon blanc, cape riesling, sémillon, merlot and pinotage. It takes its name from the blue-tinged mountains of the Cape. It's meant to be an easy-drinking pink fashioned in the Portuguese Vinho Verde style. The colour is deep raspberry; the nose a mix of cherry and spiced apple and the taste: cherries, citrus and minerals. A fun patio sipper with a modicum of residual sugar.
If you haven't tasted Mateus Rosé ($9.49) recently, you're in for a pleasant surprise. The colour is an attractive light raspberry red. With a mix of mineral, earthy, cherry, slightly floral notes on the nose. It's refreshingly drier than the old version with some spritz, and earthy, light cherry, citrus, mineral apple flavours. A very sound, affordable summer rosé.
The success of the dry red Castaño Monastrell has spawned a rosé from this Spanish producer that hits the mark. Castaño Monastrell Rosé ($9.49) has a cherry, berry, spicy, mineral aroma with a touch of game and earth. Look for fresh black cherry, licorice, spicy, mineral and citrus flavours with a touch of raspberry. Great value and a versatile picnic party drink. Try with chilled salmon and potato salad.
Arrowleaf Red Feather ($12.99 VQA stores) is one of the best local pinks in the market. The Okanagan Valley rosé is a refreshing blend of pinot noir, merlot and auxerrois with a pale salmon colour. The aroma is a mix of mint and strawberry. Its fresh and round with just enough sugar and acidity to hold your interest. A perfect summer patio wine and thats two vintages in a row. Well done.
Gallos Sierra Series White Zinfandel ($9.99) has pretty, fruit-scented nose of cherries and plums with fine acidity breaking the super sweet mold. The entry is fresh and the intensity fine. This is a solid, summer sipper that will double as a versatile food wine around the barbecue.
A sheer delight is Château la Tour d'Aigues Poeme Rosé ($12.95) from Côtes du Lubéron. It has an attractive flowery, cherry nose with almond notes and dry cherry, citrus, baked quince and earthy flavours. Its terrific value and surely one of the best pinks in the market. Drink all summer.
Another fun bet from the Okanagan is the Blasted Church Rosé ($13.99). Its bright fuchsia colour is magnetic. The nose is ripe and sweet with candied banana strawberry scents that follow through on the palate. A true summer sipper best served well chilled.