Thursday, 18 October 2018


So this week, having nothing better to do, I've seen the light: rosé is the way. It's taken a while and PK hasn't helped by pointing out that an awful lot of high street rosé is flavourless overpriced crap, but I've given up fighting, I have got with the programme and I have joined the rest of the world in its secret vice. 

And here's why:

It goes with anything. Short of beef stew or an ultra-rare venison steak, you, or at least I, can drink rosé - thanks to its broadly anonymous lack of any particularly nice taste, see above - with any food that anyone is likely to encounter, including, but not limited to, sushi, bacon and eggs, anything involving a chicken or other winged creature, rhubarb fool, all pastas, Christmas cake, soup, lamb, Goan cuisine, every kind of cheese, flapjacks, salad, soda bread, ham hock, lemon curd, Greek mezze. It is beyond versatile. It is very zen.

In that respect, it scarcely counts as wine. Say goodbye to all that senseless anguish as you try to navigate your way between regions, varietals, makers, vintages. The job is done for you all in one with rosé wines - satisfyingly and with such fabulous ease that rosé becomes a unique, mildly acoholic beverage in its own right, a taxonomy of one, free from any burden of decision-making.

It anagrammatizes into Sore, Ores and Eros.

Great colour. All the way from the earliest mantling of dawn in the eastern sky to nail-bar fuschia: who doesn't like to look at something pink from time to time? It's playful, it's slightly disinfectant, it has an echo of the nursery about it, it's not the colour of spilled blood or indeed blood plasma.

Which also gestures towards a new kind of inclusivity. In these fatally divisive times what we need is a drink which embraces both sides of the debate - red and white - and unites them in an ameliorist's paradise, a world which recognises that there is good and bad in both extremes - but with a little goodwill, a desire for compromise, we can all sit on the same part of the fence in some comfort, unless we're eating raw steak, but don't you think we should really stop eating raw steak, not least on account of the harm it does our bodies? For this very reason, rosés stand apart in that they contain a moral component.

You can find it in song titles and lines of poetry.

Whole lotta rosé - AC/DC
There is a rosé in Spanish Harlem - Ben E. King
Days of wine and rosés - Ernest Dowson, They Are Not Long
Rosé - Don Partridge
Rosés are shining in Picardy - Frederick Weatherly
O rosé thou art sick - William Blake, The Sick Rosé

I could go on.

Well flash people drink it on big boats out of huge bottles. Rosé is not only a wine for the undecided and the non-partisan, it is also a wine for those of us with a marginal taste for bling. It doesn't have to sit in a blushing Methuselah on the upper deck of a ninety-footer, but does almost as well stuck artlessly on the kitchen table next to the chutney. It hints at lifestyle - something I've never actually enjoyed - just by being there, especially if it's that really toney kind of borderline palest pink which denotes big dollars and jaded sensibilities. Ladies love that kind of thing, reeks of class.

It's currently on offer at Waitrose for £4.99. I've gone and bought an extra bottle, just to be on the safe side. Firm & fruity, Spanish probably, probably something, anyway. Who knows? Does the maker know? Is he even interested? The label has elements of puce with a soft metalised finish. It has a pink screwcap so I can tell at a glance what it is when it's on its side in the rack. What else is there? I am going to attempt one of my paellas to go with it. Usually this ends up as a kind of lumpy fish porridge, but I like it. Perfect accompaniment? Rosé. It'll taste terrible, but at least it's one less thing to worry about.



  1. It only tastes terrible in England. In France/wherever on a hot summer's day it takes absolutely brill, even when it comes out of one of those plastic en vrac affairs - Chateau Plastique as we call it.

  2. You are of course quite right - I was going to say something to that effect & then forgot to... Our S of France pals keep a BiB of rose in the fridge at all times for top-ups & it's delicious...