Wine blog: Sweeter by any other name
I'm sat on a rooftop in Hoxton looking out over the glum greyness of London's near east. At least the showery weather's warm.
I pick up the glass of rose that forms the focus of the event I'm attending and wonder whether our country's persistent meteorological melancholy is the reason the drink has something of an image problem here.
Not only are the skies Eeyore grey; they colour our cultural outlook.
This jars with light, crisp rose. It is ephemera. Not to be taken too seriously. An accent not a letter in the printed text of our lives.
As such, it's relegated to a sort of women's weekly stand in wine shops and supermarkets.
A bit of fun, perhaps. At best, sugary Mary Poppins sweetness. At worst faux Burberry garden juice.
Which is a shame, because there's a real danger short-sighted Eeyores like me are missing out.
Of five lower Loire pinkos from Anjou supped atop the Queen Of Hoxton, three are very good, one passable and one unpleasant. That's not a bad hit rate.
More importantly the cleanliness of the tastes sleep well with a mass of ingredients we are encouraged to skewer and barbecue for culinary amusement.
They lubricate the function admirably too, lacking the cloying edge of other libations in similar scenarios.
It's never going to have an especially masculine edge, but perhaps it's time for rose to slip into the hands of the pink-shirt wearing neanderthal without the expected discomfort.
And with products of quality coming through at reasonable prices, there might just be a window opening for a rebirth. After all, who drinks sauvignon blanc any more?
■ 1749 Rose d'Anjou Selection Pierre Chainier 2013 - buy at Virgin Wines for £7.99.
■ Chamteloup Rosé d'Anjou 2013 - buy at Waitrose for £6.39.
■ Rosé d'Anjou Les Ligériens 2013 - buy at Wine Hound for £8.45.
■ La Grille Rosé d'Anjou Gwenaël Guihard 2013 - buy at Majestic for £8.49.
■ Rosé d'Anjou Auguste Bonhomme 2013 - buy at SH Jones for £7.99.