trophyTop Ten Rosé Wines of 2011 this week, and any one of them chilled makes an ideal partner to lighter Christmas meats such as turkey and cold ham. But darker coloured rosés, the result of soaking grape skins in the must for 3 days rather than 3 hours, could easily be mistaken for light reds and can cope with more robustly-flavoured meals like roast beef and mushroom stroganoff. So if you’re looking for a versatile wine that will please everyone then try a rosé from the top ten.

Here they are ranging in price from £3.99 to £8.75:


Co-op Rockcliffe Family California Rosé 2010

£3.99 Co-op

On offer during August and September, it’s a shame this excellently blended rosé didn’t make it beyond ‘while stocks last’. But should you see it again then get in a couple of bottles as the sweet-sharp flavours with subtle hints of strawberry are very quaffable.


Ravelli Italia Vino Frizzante Pinot Grigio Rosé

£4.99 Co-op

Another limited offer rosé from the Co-op. Which is a shame as you don’t come across many rosés that are both fun to open and fun to drink – once past the frizzante cork held down with string the salmon pink fizz inside the bottle tastes lightly of strawberry. Another quaffer.

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Black Tower German Rosé 2010

£5.48 or 3 for £10 Asda, £5.68 Tesco and Sainsbury’s, £5.75 Co-op

This 9% alcohol rosé is definitely still available and well worth buying – its slightly sweet raspberry and redcurrant flavours are a match to many Christmas meals. Treat it as a light red.


Black Tower Pink Bubbly 2010

£5.99 Morrisons

Another low alcohol rosé from Black Tower, 9.5% this time, but with a slight fizz. The sweet bubblegum and lemon sherbet flavours were a hit with the Women’s Institute when I took it along for an evening of wine tasting. A good choice for a light lunchtime glass of wine.

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Six Hats Fairtrade South African Pinotage Rosé 2010

£6.99 Laithwaites (minimum order 12 bottles)

A rosé that’s more of a light red with its redcurrant and plum flavours with an edge of blackberry. One of the new breed of rosés that’s breaking out of the light and inoffensive mould.


Amoras De Portugal Rosé 2010

£7.29 Laithwaites (minimum order 6 bottles)

Another very good ‘rosé’ from Laithwaites that, despite its label, is definitely a light red: raspberry, redcurrant, vanilla and a tinge of blackcurrant.

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Yali Chilean Merlot Rosé 2010

£7.49 (or buy 2+ £5.99) Majestic

Yali may be a new kid on the block but all of its offerings are really rather good. And this rosé is no exception: creamy cherry and apple flavours that are best appreciated at room temperature. Treat as a light red.


Angove Australian Grenache Shiraz Rosé 2010

£7.99 Laithwaites (minimum order 12 bottles)

I take my hat off to the rosé wine buyer at Laithwaites, another rosé that’s more of a light red and very nice it is too: cherry, strawberry, cranberry and creamy vanilla/coconut flavours plus some vegetabliness going on too with broccoli and carrot astringency. It’s that sweet-sour thing going on again (like the Rockcliffe at number 1) that makes wines quaffable without being overpoweringly sweet or rich.


The Black Stump Australian Durif Rosé 2010

£7.99 Laithwaites (minimum order 12 bottles)

A flexible rosé that tastes just as good drunk cool as it does at room temperature: raspberry, plum and creamy flavours.


Nuevo Mundo Organic Chilean Carmenere Rosé 2010

£8.75 Vintage Roots

A rosé that’s more of a white wine this time: bubblegum and pear (flavours normally found in white wines) as well as light strawberry and raspberry (typical rosé flavours). An interesting mid-point between rosé and white wine.

trophyTop Eight After Dinner Red Wines of 2011 this week. That’s more than the promised five as a late surge in great tasting and great value wines was found to match the cheese and nuts course. All eight are deeply fruity and contain more alcohol than is usual in red wine - which describes exactly what Ruby and Tawny ports are about. But ports aren’t the only choice for after dinner reds.

Maynard's Aged TawnyIf you want a similar flavour and experience to Croft's 1991 Vintage Port but at a sixth of the price then look no further than Maynard's ports on special offer this Christmas at Aldi. Maynard's Late Bottled Vintage 2007 is selling at £8.99 and the 10 years old Aged Tawny is a pound more at £9.99, but only while stocks last. And they won't last long because both ports have my vote as Bargains of the Week.

Croft 1991 Port labelIt’s Mature Times’ twentieth anniversary. And what better way to celebrate than by opening a bottle of port of the same vintage – Croft 1991 Vintage to be exact. Let’s see if it has matured as nicely.