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Top 5 rosé wines to go with food

Cathy gives us her top pinks for pairing.

by: Cathy Marston | 05 Mar 2012
rose wine

Why don’t we think of pink when it comes to food?

Anyone who has ever hung around the South of France, Greece, Eastern Spain or Italy for any length of time knows that the favourite tipple of choice is rosé wine.

There are two main reasons for this – rosé is cheap, because it is generally made as a by-product of red wine which means two wines for the price of one, and the second reason is that the flavours really do go extraordinarily well with foods from the area – think garlic, herbs, olives, feta cheese, crunchy salads, sun-kissed tomatoes. And, of course, all these regions are hot, hot, hot and a chilled pink really goes a long way to lowering your temperature on a sunny day.

"I don't drink pink drinks"

Here in SA, we’re quite dismissive of rosé, thinking it’s a ‘girly’ drink whilst memories of sweet sticky rubbish still prevail in many people’s minds. But that absolutely isn’t the case anymore so here are five fave rosés with food suggestions to match.

Be bold and brave this weekend and break out the pink – bet you’ll be surprised!!

Rickety Bridge Rosé 2011 and prawn bisque
This was one of my favourite pinks last year and having tried the 2011, I have no hesitation in saying it will be one of my faves this year too. A good price (R42 from the farm), nicely dry, flavours of raspberries backed up by wild fynbos hints – I think this would be the perfect partner for this classic Southern French bisque with basil, tomatoes and cream.

Sijnn Rosé 2010 and Asian duck salad
Sijnn owner, David Trafford, tends to call this a light red rather than a rosé and he may well have a point. Suffice it to say – if you chill it, I think it counts and it is certainly a brilliant match to this duck salad. Made from Mourvèdre, Grenache and other bits and pieces, and weighing in at a relatively-top-end R120, it is spicy and peppery which works brilliantly with the sweetness of the dressing.

Dornier Cocoa Hill Rosé 2011 and Caponata
A lovely, lively pink made from Merlot, this is dry and lip-smacking with plenty of herbal notes and ripe red berries. I think it will be the perfect match for this Caponata – the very essence of Mediterranean food. The deep rich flavours of the food with its slight hint of dark chocolate should be an awesome match for the Merlot rosé (R45 from cellar door).

Bosman Family Vineyards ‘33’ Rosé 2011 and Lemony chicken and orzo salad
The 33 in question is because there are 33 – yes really – 33 different grape varieties in this wine! The Bosman Family own the largest privately-owned vine nursery in the Southern Hemisphere and this wine (R50 from the farm) comes from their training vineyards in Walker Bay. Delicious with this light summery chicken salad with creamy feta and tangy mint.

Landskroon Blanc de Noir Off-dry 2011 and Peri-Peri calamari
Nothing like a spoonful of sugar to help cool down a fiery dish! This off-dry rosé made from Pinotage (R32 from cellar door)  still has plenty of balancing acidity and lots of luscious red fruit, but that extra gram or two of sweetness should handle this spicy, tangy dish to perfection.


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