Mondelli Pinot Grigio Blush 2011

When I first started seeing my soon-to-be wife I didn't know much about wine.
Posted 23rd July 2012        

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When I first started seeing my soon-to-be wife I didn’t know much about wine. I knew even less than I know now, if that’s possible; although I knew less that I knew so little, if you know what I mean. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.

Because of this, I was still firmly convinced that confidence in choice of wine went hand-in-hand with knowhow: so when it soon became apparent that my new lady friend was very particular with the wine she’d drink I presumed she knew loads about it. Loads more than me, for sure.

This turned out to be a ruse: she just liked light pink wines. Blushes, as they’re often called. A type of rosé but less rosey than most. They’re often made of Pinot Grigio and I haven’t had one for what seems like years.

I know now that these wines can sometimes be elegant and refreshing affairs at the height of summer: as long as they’re sufficiently dry to match my tastes.

But Pinot Grigio, a subtle wine at the best of times, rarely makes a good rosé in my experience.

This Mondelli blush is a natural product of the “slightly tinted” Pinot Grigio grapes (rather than a white grape wearing a red grape’s skin for the afternoon), but rather than wowing me with its refined Italian stylings, it does more to remind me of my initially underwhelmed reaction to the wine tastes of one who I thought was very much in-the-know when I first met her.

Now, it’s not that my other half isn’t in-the-know. She knows about at much as me, and knew about as little as me at the time. But she’s always been better at sounding like she knows what she’s talking about, and in those early days I was always far too polite to say “this tastes like weak sugary squash”, and too naive to know you could make a blush from such scrumptious dry red grapes as Pinot Noire or Mourvèdre.

The fact remains that wine is a very personal drink; the spectrum of styles accounts for all possible tastes, and no two people have the same.

So it is that, to me, this wine – with its pale acidic aroma of vague red fruits, and its guzzlable but uninspiring taste – serves as an excellent reminder of why rosé should be treated as carefully as any other wine style. It’s like drinking an idea of wine: a memory of wine, if you’d lost your taste buds and were trying to remember the complexity and diversity of the drink and recreate it via association.

It’s a lovely colour. But colour alone is no justification for confidence in a wine’s standard, and this particular bottle of supermarket pink has more reason than many deeper-hued wines to blush.

You can buy it from Sainsbury’s for £7.99, but I wouldn’t if I were you.


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Meet the Author:
Alexander Velky
Alexander grew up on Anglesey, almost as far away from civilization as he’d have liked. He studied English at university and subsequently moved to Prague to teach it to Czech people for just long enough that he could say he’d done that. He then returned to the UK to do an MA in Professional Writing, and later moved to London by accident and worked in the music industry for a while. His interest in wine has been developing throughout. He took the WSET Intermediate exam, for which he was rewarded with a certificate and a pin badge, but he probably won't bother doing any more. He now lives in Pembrokeshire with his wife and daughter. He writes, and drinks, for a living. You can follow him on Twitter if that's how you choose to spend your time. Photograph by Léonie Keeble