Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wine

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wine

Article excerpt

Byline: By Helen Savage

Red wine rules in southern Europe. Black grapes are far more common than white.

In much of Spain and Mediterranean France pink wine, made from the first gentle crush of black grapes, has long been the traditional partner for fish and seafood. Drunk on holiday there, fresh, well chilled, and if at all possible, outdoors, it tasted far nicer than any rosA bought at home.

Why? The `feel good factor' that's part of any good time in the sun, away from work had a lot to do with it; but until quite recently, much pink wine wasn't really very good. Away from the beach and after lingering a year or so in a bottle, it quickly lost its fruit and charm.

So why is rosA becoming so popular? The answer is simple: winemakers have learned to make pink wine in a new style that's far fruitier, more fragrant and refreshing than ever before.

And as demand for these new wines has risen, there's been a healthy turn-over of them on supermarket shelves. Almost all pink wine we now drink comes from the latest possible vintage ( just as it should. RosA has never been better.

The quality of pink (`rosado') wines right across Spain impresses me more and more with every new opportunity I get to try them. The 2004s are just lovely. Sadly, there's still not a wide enough range on offer in the shops, but if you're prepared to hunt around a bit, you make some wonderful discoveries.

Amongst those that are easy to find, I enjoyed Castillo de Liria 2004 from Valencia (pounds 4.49 at Thresher). The local grape Bobal makes deep coloured but rather thin reds, but its high acidity is perfect for rosado as this one shows ( all strawberry and fruit-gums, fresh, clean, juicy and dry.

Locally-based Spanish specialists, Spanish Spirit, offer a superb, herby, cherry and strawberry Rioja Rosado ( Preferido (pounds 6. …

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