"REFRESHING," my friend declared after taking a respectable swallow of a chilled, crisp rose.
For sipping in the garden on a sun-filled Sunday afternoon in March, rose (this one a McGuigan's Black Label Sparkling Rose) was the perfect choice.
Maybe for the first glass, or possibly even the second. But don't be fooled. These days, the innocent-looking pink often packs the same powerful punch as a robust red or tasty white, with the alcohol content of the three below hitting 13pc or above.
Time was, the roses on offer were watery in terms of alcohol content and on side. Thankfully, there's a great choice now and sales have shot up. You should find something to like for under a tenner -- and you don't want to be caught out when friends come calling on the next fine day.
Three to try
>McGuigan's Black Label Sparkling Rose (below), Australia, €10 in Tesco (down from €16). Lovely fruity but dryish flavour.
>Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosada Spain, €8 in Dunnes (down from €10.16). It's made from Tempranillo and Grenache so if you like tasty grapes, you might like this one.
>Arniston Bay Pinotage Rose South Africa, €8.99 in Dunnes. Fruity and light with strawberry flavours.