Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Rosé roundup

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A glass of rosé at Zarbo, Chaffers DockI was rushing to get my discussions of all the Kumutoto entries ready for this Friday, but the deadline for feedback has been pushed back until Monday, so it's time to relax and look at something more important. October has been the usual meteorological rollercoaster, but amid the typical bursts of belated winter, it has also been kind enough to toss us a few rosé-worthy days.

Unfortunately, the wine lists of the city weren't always up to the challenge. Very few places had more than one rosé by the glass, and many had none (the Port Café was a particular disappointment there, although at least it's a BYO). Even a specialist wine bar such as Arbitrageur could only muster one very ordinary pink wine by the glass, though there's a $70 bottle of Tavel on the cellar list if you want to splash out.

Oh, but splash out I did on many occasions. Vivo had a nice range by the bottle, Sweet Mother's Kitchen offers a decent glass of rosé, and even beer-centric pubs such as Leuven, the Southern Cross, General Practitioner and Tasting Room have quaffable options. Don't ask me what they were: it's not that sort of blog, and they weren't those sort of nights.

But it's the combination of wine, views and sunshine that can make all the difference. Herd St Brasserie's new list does well, and there's a pleasant Merlot-based drop available at Zarbo (which was quickly picked up as the mystery bar). On one particularly clement afternoon I enjoyed a quiet glass outside Manhattan Lounge. Or to be more precise, half a glass, as that was all that they had left after thirsty punters had polished off a case that day. Perhaps it's catching on?

Still, there's something to be said for one of rosé's traditional roles: as a cheap & cheerful picnic wine. Grab yourself a bottle or two, and a group of good friends, and spread yourself out on the grass at Waitangi Park on a fine weekend. It's even legal to do so on a Sunday, though that takes away some of the frisson. There will no doubt be plenty more opportunities to enjoy a glass or three as we roll into summer, though for November I have a very different warm-weather drink in mind.


At 9:46 pm, October 31, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are tempting me!

do you have any recommendations? Esk Valley maybe

At 12:58 pm, November 01, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

I don't remember trying Esk Valley during the month, but I think I've enjoyed in it in the past. Ata Rangi summer rosé gets a hearty endorsement, and I think I had a Clearview somewhere that was very pleasant.

I can't recommend the Forrest Hill: it may have been a bad bottle, but the one we had at Arbitrageur was flat, metallic and dull. On the other hand, of all things the Montana East Coast ($10 a bottle at New World) does everything one requires of a picnic wine.


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