RHS Chelsea Flower Show is back for another resplendently floral year, so we’re jumping on the bandwagon with a garden-themed wine list.
After all, any excuse to sip rosé in the May sunshine, right?
But although it’s the obvious choice, you don’t just have to drink pink to get in the flowery vibes.
We’ve also selected some reds and whites with fruity and floral notes like mint, raspberry and lavender.
Here are our picks of the best bottles for garden sipping.
Viñalba Selección Torrontés, Mendoza, Argentina
Taking the floral theme literally, I’ve picked one with florid flavours, in a delicious way.
Torrontés is an Argentinian white grape known for being openly aromatic, well, it is related to Muscat so what do we expect? Don’t answer that.
It’s Argentina’s most widely planted white grape, grown at elevation with the best examples, like this, delivering heady notes of rose petal, lychee and fresh mint, not unlike a leaner, dryer, crisper version of Gewurztraminer.
Buy for £9.99 (£8.99 mix) from Majestic.
The Society’s Gavi, Piedmont, Italy
Like bringing a Swiss Army knife on a camping trip, you can’t go wrong with Gavi.
Italy’s version of Chablis is situationally versatile, though it could have been invented for outdoor shenanigans.
This one is pure, crisp and dry, giving a green apple mouth-gush with a pinch of lavender and garrigue.
It uses grapes grown on the La Battista vineyard, considered one of the choicest sites in Gavi, then yeast-aged for extra complexity and weight.
Buy for £9.95 from The Wine Society.
Te Pa Signature Series Marlborough Pinot Noir 2020, New Zealand
A fridge without red wine is like a party without balloons, just disappointing.
Ramp up your chillable red game with a New Zealand pinot noir like this one, which fully requires some fridge-time.
Chilling lighter reds subdues the fruit, streamlining the flavour profile to make it less flouncy and more refreshing.
The Marlborough region magnifies fruit flavours and develops lip-smacking acidity in grapes, so strap yourself in for some lively cherry and Parma violet action.
Buy for £15 from Tesco.
The Misfits Cinsault, South Africa
Pronounce ‘Piekenierskloof’ and I’ll give you a bottle of this. Actually, I won’t, as there’s zero budget.
It’s the name of a small wine region where these grapes are grown, an area that has a fresher, more mountainous climate than Mediterranean-style Stellenbosch.
Why is that relevant? Because a cooler climate is ideal for locking in fruit flavours and nurturing zingy acidity in grapes, lowering alcohol for a more refreshing and complex, rhubarb and raspberry-flavoured drop.
Buy for £9 from Tesco.
Tio Pepe Fino En Rama Sherry, Jerez, Spain
I’m a sucker for lighter styles of sherry in summer, they’re unapologetically savoury, saline and refreshing, like a gust of sea breeze to the palate.
Tio Pepe is where it’s at for the Fino style, and this limited release takes it to a new level of complexity via zero filtration, aka ‘en rama’ meaning ‘raw’.
It’s the nearest thing to drinking directly from the cask, delivering a thwack of toasted almond and focaccia dough flavours.
Buy for £16.99 from Lea & Sandeman.
The Beach by Whispering Angel, Provence, France
I couldn’t resist, not while there’s a plant-based theme and pretty palm trees on the label.
This is a sustainable bottle, lower glass-weight and with an eco-friendly label, and the wine’s not bad either; cranberry-led with fresh and juicy notes of wild raspberries.
Not content with revolutionising the rosé category via cultural phenomenon, Whispering Angel, Chateau d’Esclan’s winemaker Sacha Lichine has partnered up with The Surfrider Foundation to clean up the world’s coastlines for guilt-
Buy for £15 from Tesco.
When In Rome Rosato, Abruzzo, Italy
‘The world’s first paper bottle’ isn’t something I thought I’d write today, and yet, here we are. You’ll recognise ‘When in Rome’ off the box – not as in television, their bag-in-box range.
This is the same idea, creating six-times less climate impact than a glass bottle.
Genius, and I can’t stop picking it up, staring at it and drinking it, in that order.
Made from the Montepulciano grape with dry flavours of rhubarb and custard.
Buy for £10.99 from When in Rome.
Hampton Water Rosé 2021, Languedoc, France
Sound the ‘pinch-me-moment’ claxon, because I got to hang out with Jon Bon Jovi in Paris last week, he from the band that’s sold more than 130million albums.
It was the launch of the new vintage of his Languedoc Rosé, accompanied by
his talented collaborators Jesse Bongiovi, his son, and their uber-winemaker, Gérard Bertrand.
With a refreshingly dry morello plum and blood orangey flavour profile, drinking
this all night felt like a bed of rosés.
Buy for £16.99 (£12.99 mix six) from Majestic.
Greyfriars Rosé Reserve Brut, Surrey, England
This is turning into a rosé-fest, as it should for spring/summer sipping.
Homegrown, no less, this is whipped up in Surrey from a blend of 90% pinot noir and ten per cent pinot meunier.
No wonder it’s so full of smushed red berry flavours then, while three-years ageing on the yeast has beckoned in layers of strawberry shortcake.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s dry and mouth-tinglingly racy, but as juicy and light as a punnet of raspberries.
Buy for £26.99 fom Waitrose Cellar.
Della Vite Prosecco Rosé Millesimato 2021, Italy
Hot off the press and chilled to perfection, now that’s a killer combo.
A new addition to the Delevingne sisters’ range, flying the flag for high-end Prosecco.
At £25 it might seem spendy, but it’s achingly top-notch with 30 days extended yeast ageing for added complexity. It is also vegan and sustainable.
I should know, I work with them, and can confirm that this vintage rosé prosecco has a froth of pressed redcurrants and fresh rhubarb.
Buy for £24.95 from Della Vite.
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