Bill's Rosé Wine Blog

Bill has a passion for wine and was introduced to dry Rosé wines thirty or so years ago in the South of France.  He had the idea of specialising in offering top quality Rosé wines within the UK, but it took a while before it could be realised. The wines chosen combine modern methods with the traditional skill of the winemakers resulting in superb wines, tasting just as good here in the UK as they do abroad!
Bill had forecast the expanding market for good Rosés so he registered and negotiated some of the best, most characteristic wines, at an early stage.

As a UK wide online supplier, has now built a reputation for great products and service. 

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Blog posts of '2010' 'May'

Victory for Traditional Rosé Production Methods

Summer 2009. There were celebrations in Provence and throughout Europe among quality winemakers in response to the news that the EU has dropped plans to permit production of Rosé by simBill & Bertrand at Rouillereply mixing white and red wine together. This ensures the future of the much more labour intensive traditional method where the grape juice is left in contact with the skins for a period. This gives the natural colour to the wine, but does not involve use of possibly incompatible blends. The traditional method results in top quality Rosés made from the juice of red grapes.

Simply mixing white and red wines is not unusual in some parts of the world and is usually done to reduce production costs. Whilst there are quite a few examples of good wines made this way it is very easy for many to be uninteresting in that they do not have much differentiation (except for their colour) from the white wine which forms their base. It is a technique too often used by winemakers to make what I call an "as well" wine. For example a producer who makes white and red wines, thinks it would be good to have a Rosé "as well". You can be certain that should we offer any new world wines made this way it will be because the blend has been very expertly achieved to make a quality wine that stands out from the crowd.

Glasses, What a Difference They Make

Up until just a few years ago, I tended to choose glassware used for entertaining based simply on its appearance on a well set table. I generally chose good quality cut crystal in two sizes to accommodate red or white wines. When presenting a good Rosé I followed the convention of using the white wine glass or a good decorated crystal Champagne flute for our best Sparkling Rosés.

Then, I discovered master Austrian glassmakers Riedel, and everything changed! The Riedel concept is that the shape of the glass makes a huge difference to enjoyment of different types of wine.

The glass shape is optimised to bring out the best in the wine. Riedel propose that different types of wine require different shaped glasses in order to be fully enjoyed at their absolute best. I swiftly discovered that there was no question that our wines tasted better from the Riedel glass. The effect was startling, bringing out every nuance of fruit from even our most delicate dry Rosés.

The ‘Riedel Crystal’ Rosé glass is uncut and thin walled resulting in such a low thermal mass that it frosts beautifully the instant the wine is poured. Gone forever, was the need to refrigerate my chunky cut crystal glasses!

The Riedel glasses are available not just for Rosé, but optimised for each red or white wine variety to provide the ultimate tasting experience. The Riedel concept that form follows function holds throughout the range with its variety of shapes. They are unadorned (barring the discreet Riedel brand on the base) and are generously sized to allow enough room for the wine’s bouquet to be fully appreciated.

The lead crystal has a wonderful clarity which catches all the light and makes for a most elegant table. Given all the above it probably comes as no surprise that prefers to use Riedel glasses at our tastings.

Cork vs. Other Closures

At risk of controversy (why change the habit of a lifetime), my view is that ideally, there really should be no contest.  Cork rules!  I particularly like the best Portuguese cork used on most of our wines, although we do cautiously accept the full length plastic substitute where it has been adopted by a grower and are beginning to see some scewcap closures too.

The position in Europe regarding closures is, dare I say, fluid, but despite the occasional ‘corked’ wine I do believe Cork is best.  Continuing research into cork processing will likely eradicate the cause of problems - there are promising results already. We are always happy to replace or credit a ‘corked’ bottle'.

The plastic substitutes can be very tight in the bottle neck allowing the possibility of glass breakage around the bottle rim. The screw-top has been associated with convenience wines for immediate consumption, but regrettably, versions thus far, do not impart a feeling of quality and can have some sharp edges too.  I accept they are becoming quite popular and we already are seeing some good wines closed this way.  There is a lot of demand from restaurants for this closure.

Technically, cork is probably not an absolute necessity for our Rosés as they are unlikely to be stored for an extended period, but it has proved its compatibility with wine over a very long time and is a natural material.  The cork oak trees are ecologically sound and will likely remain as long as there is commercial need for them.  Cork harvesting also helps a lot of rural communities and is vital for their economy. See  for more information.

Oh, and while I’m on this sort of subject, I especially like the foil pull tab used on our wines Cuvée du Cep D’Or and Carte Noire.   This is elegant to use and eliminates the need for a foil cutter. A deft flick of the wrist removing it, adds to the flair of presenting the wine at the table as does the proficient removal of the cork.  Yes, I accept different closures have their merits and that we'll be seeing more of them in the future, but ideally I’d prefer a cork!  Happy drinking!