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Beards and Rosé

By October 30, 2014May 5th, 2015No Comments

If you have spent any time in the hip­ster bars and cafés of Wel­ling­ton recently, you will no doubt have come to the same con­clu­sion I have: Wel­ling­ton is fast approach­ing ‘peak beard’. Although beards are now pro­lif­ic on both sides of the counter, I ser­i­ously doubt you can find a male behind any bar in Wel­ling­ton who will mix your cocktail/pour your craft beer/make your latte, without sport­ing a grand bristly state­ment of mas­culin­ity about his face.

One less obvi­ous trend is the pro­lif­er­a­tion of rosés on Wel­ling­ton wine lists. Rosé has enjoyed a surge in interest from con­sumers in recent years and wine­makers have scrambled to meet demand. One loc­al res­taur­ant wit­ness­ing huge interest is Havana Bar. Potti Wag­staff, Havana Bar own­er and loc­al hospo per­son­al­ity, is see­ing so much interest in the wine that he is launch­ing a ‘Sum­mer of Rosé’ pro­mo­tion to high­light dif­fer­ent rosés through the warm­er months.

We are see­ing cus­tom­ers start to look for some­thing a bit more than what Sauvign­on Blanc has to offer — a bit more sweet­ness and round­ness,” he says. “We have also seen wine­makers lift their game with rosé, pro­du­cing drier styles that can be matched well with food.”

Rosé has had a poor repu­ta­tion in the past as a bit of a girls’-day-out drink, a sweet wine not deserving of ser­i­ous scru­tiny. I asked Potti if that was the case at Havana Bar, and he advised me that he was see­ing all types embra­cing rosé, from “cor­por­ate suits through to urb­an hipsters”.

So if you’re a manly man with the facial hair to prove it and you haven’t evolved to rosé, then now is the time. This is going to be a sum­mer of rosé. Put down your craft beer (tastes like beer, only stronger) and pour your­self a glass of bliss­ful, lively, refresh­ing rosé.

Here are four of the best 2014 rosés — if these don’t turn you to the pink side, nothing will!

Brightwater Vineyard ‘Sophie’s Kiss’ 2014 Nelson Rosé

Won­der­ful aromas of rose petals and sum­mer ber­ries. This is a stun­ning rosé already pick­ing up major awards, includ­ing Pure Gold at Bragato this year. Fer­ment­ing in oak — not typ­ic­al for rosé — gives this wine beau­ti­ful bal­ance with just a hint of sweetness.

$20, Centre City Wines & Spir­its,

On the wine list: Jack­son Street Bis­tro, Crafters and Co., Duck Creek

Margrain 2014 Martinborough Pinot Rosé

One of the abso­lute stars of the Mar­grain line-up, with a legion of fans already. Made from 100 per­cent Pinot Noir, this deli­ciously del­ic­ate style has just enough acid to bal­ance the sweetness.

$22, Wine­seeker, New World Thorndon, Super Liquor Lower Hutt

On the wine list at: Petone Beach Café, Thun­der­birds, Crafters & Co., Min­istry of Food

Alexander ‘Raumati’ 2014 Martinborough Pinot Rosé

This is the first rosé pro­duced by Alex­an­der and is an instant clas­sic. Rasp­ber­ries, red­cur­rant and sum­mer fruit fill the glass, and the fin­ish is crisp and very refreshing.

$25, Centre City Wines & Spir­its,, Rau­mati South Foodmarket

On the wine list: The Grand, Crafters & Co., Sea­sons Waikanae

Whitehaven 2014 Marlborough Rosé

White­haven have doubled pro­duc­tion of their 2014 rosé to meet demand from the res­taur­ant trade for a drier European style that matches well with food. This is very light sal­mon in col­our, with fresh straw­ber­ries and cher­ries on the nose and a lovely creamy com­plex­ity. Delicious!

$20, Moore Wilson’s,

On the wine list: Crafters and Co., Juni­per, Atlanta, Bin 44, Two Souls

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