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Andrew Campbell: Ace wines to win you over during Wimbledon

Rosé comes in many styles – from sweet  and sometimes sickly to ultra-dry – but a good quality rosé should be bursting with fruit flavours

Andrew Campbell
Andrew Campbell

Wimbledon is so quintessentially British summertime.

So with the solstice having just passed, the world’s most famous tennis tournament well underway and the weather set fair it would be remiss not to recommend a few summer wines that would be game, set and match for a perfect sunny day.

Many would consider Pimms the ideal doubles partner – indeed 200,000 glasses of the fruity cocktail are sold at the championships each year.

A further 100,000 pints of beer and lager are quaffed by thirsty spectators. But this is a wine column so what style of vino captures the Wimbledon spirit? Victory and success would normally be greeted by bubbly – 25,000 bottles of champagne are consumed during the fortnight at SW19.

Perhaps a summery white would be right to acknowledge the Wimbledon dress code or should it be red – the colour seen by frustrated tennis stars after a dodgy line call (do you agree Mr Murray)?

But ask many for the food that sums up Wimbledon and they’ll say strawberries and cream. So it’s with the wine that most frequently imitates the flavours of strawberry and cream that I’ll start.

Rosé comes in many styles – from sweet  and sometimes sickly to ultra-dry. Whatever your preference, a good quality rosé should burst with fruit flavours varying from strawberries and raspberries to tangerine, plum and much more.

Barefoot Pink Moscato , is a non-vintage Californian gem, from one of Gallo’s many brands. Fairly low in alcohol (just 9%) and sweet, it’s reduced to just £5.25 at Morrisons until July 14. Lush aromas of peach dominate with hints of  citrus and red fruit.  Sweet orange marmalade flavours come to the fore in the mouth with peach and red fruit lingering in the background. If sweet rosé is your tipple then this is sure to please with bags of flavour that would perfectly complement a summer barbecue.

Multi-award winning Chilean producer Luis Felipe Edwards barely puts a foot wrong nowadays and his deep pink Paradiso Rosé 2010 is ace.

Poles apart from the Barefoot moscato, this a seriously intense rosé crafted from cabernet sauvignon and shiraz grapes. It is bursting with red fruit aromas and flavours  of raspberry and strawberry.

It’s a beautifully balanced concentrated rosé selling at £7.49 or two for £12 at Marks and Spencer for the whole of July.

M&S’s same two-bottle deal will also apply to their Rosé d’Anjou 2011 from France’s Loire Valley. Very different to the Paradiso, this famous wine is off-dry with strawberry and raspberry flavours with a hint of citrus on the finish. There’s no harsh edges in what is a crisp wine that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

M&S is also offering an utterly different rosé made from grenache noir, cinsault and syrah grapes in France’s Rhone Valley. Reserve du Boulas, Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2011 is reduced to £5.99 from July 1. Pale coloured and dry, it offers restrained aromas of strawberry and pear with hints of red fruit and peach in the mouth and a rack full of  spice. It’s not what many would think of as rosé and is far less accessible than the others.

Instead, Gallo’s Family Vineyards Merlot Rosé would be many people’s idea of a pink wine. Light and sweet it has candied aromas and flavours of plum and cranberry with hints of summer fruits. It’s extremely easy drinking with enough fruit flavours to enjoy amid the sweetness.

Should Andy Murray lift the Wimbledon crown then fizz will certainly be in order. But rather than splashing out on champagne, prosecco offers the perfect, refreshing summer alternative that’s seen its popularity rocket in recent years.

The M&S extra-dry Prosecco is superbly fresh and crisp with typical aromas and flavours of pear and apple with a citrus finish. Made by the Dal Bianco Family in prosecco’s northern Italian home, it’s reduced to £8 during July.

Whatever your choice, enjoy the tennis, the fine weather and come on Murray.

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