Being paired with a glass of rosé may have made the conscious Londonist blush in the past, but more recently, there has been a revival and now it's kinky to be a bit pinky. Connoisseurs, new breed rosé socialists and casual aficionados have all started sipping clarets of the sweet stuff on summery days and we went to All Bar One at Butler's Wharf to sample their limited edition collection for this season.
Taking on a select four, we made our way around the world tasting British, French, Spanish and Chilean rosés. Chivalrously allowing the Primrose Hill (£19.95) to go first, we found what can best be described as an English summer in a bottle, teasingly exciting in parts but mild and a bit disappointing on the whole. The recommended combination of mini fishcakes and chive crème fraiche fought it on the palette with tastes being tennised around until the Chataeu de Sour (£12.95) came to the rescue. A strawberry blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this was no mongrel but an elegant and sophisticated hybrid pedigree that we loved unconditionally on first taste. Fruity, aromatic and almost aristocratic, it made a charming companion to a dish of calamari and roasted garlic mayonnaise.
On to Chile and Agustinos Syrah (£16.95), a high altitude variety produced near Santiago that had all the spunk one might expect of a South American wine. Powerful and with a crisp aftertaste, we rated this above the English but below the French convincing us that we had to try one more from the continent before the evening was over. The finale was none other than El Muro Garnacha (£14.95), a Cariñena rosado that was breezy, sociable and as fun as an evening out in Spain. Perfect for a chat over tapas.
Rosé truly seems to be in good health and we recommend a trip to the bank of the Thames for a sip of the sunset this summer.
Limited edition rosé wines available at All Bar One from July until the fall. Drink them by the river at Spice Quays, 34 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YG or log on to www.allbarone.co.uk for other locations.
By Nikhil Kalanjee. Image by Varun KR