Wine match

White with fish and red with meat, but what to serve with salads and soup?

Well, it depends what kind of salad, of course, but often you could do worse than choose something in between.

Roses have begun to enjoy something of a renaissance, particularly as a summer time tipple, and the rapid growth in pinot noir plantings have added to the emergence of some excellent wines.

Amisfield Saignee Rose 2009 is a notable new kid on the block, combining as it does some of the characteristic pinot flavour notes - hints of strawberries, for example - with the freshness of some cool-tank-fermented whites.

The pinot flavour notes and the pink tinge are achieved by leaving the juice to sit for 24 hours or so on the skins then separating off for fermentation.

This extracts a little of the colour, but none of the tannic astringency of raw reds.

In other words, you can get bits of the best of both worlds.

This one comes in at around $25, but look around the shelves and you should find other pinot-based roses a good few dollars cheaper.

The Montana East Coast Rose 2008 is one refreshing example, made from a combination of merlot and pinot noir grapes, which you should be able to pick up for less than $20, or spot on special for even less.

Wooing Tree from Cromwell does a refreshing rose and for something a little geographically different again try a wine from the excellent Nelson label Woollaston wines.

Their Tussock 2009 Pinot Noir Rose comes in at $16 mail order, which is a bit of a steal.

- Simon Cunliffe


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