It’s never easy choosing a bottle to take round to a winemaker’s for dinner. Spend too much and it makes you look like you’ve tried too hard, spend too little and you won’t be invited again. Often it’s best to stick to cheese for him, Prestat chocolates (Sea Salt Caramel Truffles perhaps) and flowers for her.
However, this summer throw caution to the wind and indulge (a little) in this rose from boutique winery Chateau d’Esclans in Provence. It’s a blend of grapes, including principally Grenache, Rolle and others with a title more associated with those Australian upstarts, but a delicate taste literally continents away. And that pale colour that makes you think of long days on the Cote d’Azur. The winery has serious pedigree: Sascha Lichine is the proprietor and Patrick Leon (previously at Mouton-Rothschild) is the winemaker. They make a range of roses - including the limited edition and world famous ‘Garrus’.
Back to the Whispering Angel though - In magnum the 2011 is sublime - refreshing as an aperitif, equally complimentary as an accompaniment to a light fish based lunch or dinner - or English strawberries and cream during Wimbledon. Available from selected vintners and online outlets now.