Wonderful wine for real men (and women)

They say that real men don’t wear pink shirts, eat quiche or drink rose wine.

By An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug
Saturday, 18th June 2022, 6:00 am

Well, I’m not too fussed on quiche, not since my Granny Monty died almost 26 years ago. If I close my eyes I can still taste her quiche with its crumbly, buttery melt-in-the-mouth pastry wherein bacon, mushrooms, peppers and a perfectly set eggy filling combined most pleasingly. Any other quiche I’ve come across since then has been vile by comparison. But I do celebrate the arrival of the weekend by wearing a pink shirt every Friday (or Pink Friday as it’s now called in our house by my darling wife, the enigmatic Madame G.). And not only do I love a rose wine in the summer time, almost as much as I love Hugh Grant, I am secure enough in my virile masculinity to proclaim it from the rooftops.

Should the sun come out this weekend and you fancy a splash of pink yourself, pop along to Lidl and pick up a bottle or two of today’s Wine of the Week - the delightfully dry, zesty and thoroughly refreshing 2021 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie Rose (£5.99, Lidl). As the evenings extend, this easy-drinking Italian rose which teems with ripe strawberry, cherry and melon flavours on its sumptuous palate seems ideal for lazy, languourous evenings. Enjoy it on the patio watching the sun set, as it must, with someone you love. Serve lightly chilled with seafood or salad.

Or upgrade it by making the following cocktail, a Berry Rose Sangria (serves 4): 550 ml of the above rose wine, 150 ml gin, 100 ml lemon juice, 40 ml syrup (mix sugar and water to 1 part water). Add a small punnet of mixed berries to your cocktail jug, pour in and mix the liquid ingredients, add plenty of ice and chill (not you, silly, the cocktail). Garnish with slices of lemon, lime and a sprig of mint. Final ingredient- some glorious sunshine, please.

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Should the sun fail to come out this weekend which, as I write and gaze out the window of my lovely home, Rose Cottage, at the soft, purple mists gathering over the restless sea, seems the more likely outcome, then you may wish to plump for a rich, robust red instead. Today’s second recommendation comes from M&S whose marvellous “Found” range specialises in lesser-known grape varieties which deliver exciting, complex tastes grown by winemakers who employ sustainable practices. The fabulously fresh and vibrantly fruity 2021 M&S Found Alicante Bouschet (£8) boasts pronounced blackberry and blueberry flavours which dominate an expressive bouquet leading to an intriguing palate wherein jammy black cherry flavours mingle with backnotes of dark chocolate before hints of oak, earthy spices and vanilla enrich a satisfyingly savoury finish. One for lamb shanks in a spicy, creamy sauce on a sultry Saturday night.

Today’s final recommendation has to rhyme with 0 because I’ll be celebrating a milestone birthday this week and I want to do so in the company of something that rhymes with my age. Lovers of cheap whites in the sunshine, I will never forget you because I am you. Today’s final recommendation therefore is the theatrically ripe, zippy and exceptionally elegant 2021 Dino Pinot Grigio (£5.50, Tesco). One for a warm chicken and coriander salad with rocket, sundried tomatoes and black olives.

So - pink, red, white and a cocktail too, what more could you possibly want? I’m off now to engage in some manly pursuits- hunting for wild boar, practising my karate chops, cruising around the highways and by-ways in my vintage convertible and then resolving my midlife crisis by seducing a beautiful woman called Madame G. Till next week, tipplers, sante!