Especially for you, Kylie's corking rosé

Especially for you, Kylie’s corking rosé: The Princess of Pop is the latest celeb to launch her own wine – and, like her, it’s a little belter!

  • Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, 52, launches her own brand of rosé today
  • The £9 alcoholic beverage is only the first of several wines to bear her name
  • Helen McGinn gives her verdict on Kylie’s Vin de France rosé, available at Tesco 
  • British drinks expert also reveals a selection of bargain alternatives 

She’s the best-selling female artist Australia has ever produced. But now the Princess of Pop has turned her attention to filling our glasses rather than the dance floor.

For Kylie Minogue launches her own brand of rosé today, neatly coinciding with her 52nd birthday.

Celebrity winemakers are nothing new, but the meteoric rise of rosé sales means more stars are making pink wine.

Miraval, the Provence pink blush named after the Chateau owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, is one of Majestic’s best-selling rosé wines. Sarah Jessica Parker has just launched her first rosé in the U.S., and next month will see fashion house Dolce & Gabbana launch theirs — called Rosa and made from Sicilian grapes.

Kylie Minogue (pictured) is set to launch her own brand of rosé, as research shows more Brits are reaching for a glass of wine during the pandemic 

It’s perfectly timed for consumers, too, with more Brits reaching for a glass of the pink stuff during the pandemic than they did before; last week Waitrose reported a 400 per cent sales increase. ‘Rosé has seen some of the strongest year-on-year growth over the last few years,’ says Gemma Cooper of market research firm Nielsen.

But what prompts a celebrity to branch out into the fruit of the vine, and how much do they really have to do with what ends up in the bottle?

Wine is a risky investment that doesn’t come from a tap — the harvest happens only once a year and can fail for many reasons — so putting your name to a wine is much more a labour of love than, say, a celebrity perfume.

So can Kylie’s tipple keep up with the competition? According to UK-based Benchmark Wines, with whom she collaborated, Kylie has been hands-on from the initial selection process through to the finished bottle. ‘I have a great passion for rosé and have loved working for the last two years on developing Kylie Minogue Wines,’ she says.

And at £9 a pop, you don’t feel like you’re paying above the odds for a famous name — certainly not when you compare it to rapper Jay Z’s Armand de Brignac Champagne, which will put you back £250 a bottle. I’d rather spend the money on 28 of Kylie’s bottles.

The rosé is only the first of several wines to bear her name, with a French Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc on sale from August. Plans for a wine from her native Australia are also in development, with a Chardonnay set to launch later in the year.

Drinks expert Helen McGinn, spotted a label on Kylie’s wine (pictured) revealing that the grapes used are from Southern France 

So when it comes to her rosé, available at Tesco, is it love at first sight? Pale in colour with an elegant long-necked bottle and tasteful label emblazoned with her signature, it looks rather like a smart Provence rosé.

But take a closer look at the label and you see the words Vin de France — meaning the grapes used are from the wider Languedoc region in Southern France.

It’s a blend of Carignan, widely planted in that part of the country, and Cabernet Sauvignon, loved by winemakers for its ability to add oomph and spice. Both grapes are red, their skins giving the wine its light pink colour.

On the nose, it’s a bowlful of summer berry fruits — redcurrants, strawberries — and on the palate, those red fruits keep on coming along with a touch of ripe melon and a citrus twist.

It’s got the kind of mouthwatering freshness that has you reaching for a handful of salty snacks to go with it. Which is exactly what I want from a crisp, dry rosé, to be honest. It’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians — unlike some wines which use animal products in the clarifying process, yet may not list this on the label — and is the kind of wine you can have with or without food.

Helen believes Kylie (pictured) is on to another hit, revealing that her wine has a mouthwatering freshness

This is certainly not the cheapest rosé, but it’s well made and absolutely spot on style-wise.

I think Kylie has another hit on her hands — expect this to fuel kitchen discos for a while yet.

But who needs an Aussie when we’ve got English stars?

If you fancy something a little closer to home, you can now find brilliant rosé made by a growing number of winemakers across England and Wales — all available at your local supermarket.

The number of UK vineyards has doubled over the past decade, and a run of bumper, record-breaking crops means there’s more of the pink stuff to go round than ever before.

English wines can be on the expensive side compared with rosé from elsewhere, but the best are world-class and, if you know where to look, there are some great bargains, too . . .

Lyme Block English Rosé, £8.99. Aldi

Helen picked out a selection of bargain English wines, including Lyme Block English Rosé (pictured) 

A deliciously moreish cherry and rosehip-scented rosé made for Aldi by the Lyme Bay Winery in South Devon.

It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and the lesser-known Dornfelder grapes, and comes with a whack of delicious strawberry fruit flavours.

With its bold packaging it’s easy to spot. And the screw-cap top makes it perfect for picnics — no need to pack a corkscrew! One of the best English wine bargains to be found.

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference English Rosé 2018, £11, Sainsbury’s

Helen said Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference English Rosé 2018 (pictured) is full of freshness

Made exclusively for Sainsbury’s by veteran English winemaker John Worontschak at the Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey, this is a real cocktail of grapes, including Rondo, Reichensteiner, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Dornfelder.

Quite the mouthful, with perky summer pudding flavours, a touch of the florals and plenty of freshness.

Botham & Balfour English Rosé 2018, £12, Tesco

Helen claims Botham & Balfour English Rosé 2018 (pictured) is great for summer barbecues and pairs well with salmon kebabs

Perhaps not the most obvious collaboration but one that works nonetheless: cricketing legend and self-confessed wine lover Sir Ian Botham has teamed up with the Hush Heath estate in Kent to make this pale-as-Provence rosé.

It’s simple but lovely, with delicate, fresh berry fruit character and a generous streak of acidity keeping it all in balance.

Surprisingly bowled over by this one. Great for a summer barbecue especially if salmon kebabs are on the menu.

Chapel Down English Rose 2018, £11 (normally £12.99), Sainsbury’s

Drinks expert Helen, recommends trying Chapel Down English Rose 2018 (pictured) if you need convincing about rosé

Chapel Down in Kent has been at the forefront of boosting the reputation of English wine and giving it a much-needed makeover. It’s one of the biggest wineries in the UK and consistently one of the best.

This still rosé is made from Pinot Noir, along with Rondo and Regent grapes to give it a pop of colour. Its strawberries-and-cream character makes it one to try if you need convincing about rosé.

Co-op Irresistible Eight Acres Sparkling Rose, £18, Co-op

Helen said Co-op Irresistible Eight Acres Sparkling Rose (pictured) has fresh berry flavours and creaminess

Traditional method English sparkling wines are not exactly cheap, but they’re made in the same way as champagne — meaning they’re fermented in the bottle for a second time then aged in the bottle before being released. So there are considerable costs involved in the making.

This is one of the cheapest around and still delivers on quality. Made for the Co-op by Hush Heath from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, it’s a real delight, with fresh berry flavours and creaminess.

Sparkling English Rosé Brut NV, £27, Marks & Spencer

Helen recommends pairing Sparkling English Rosé Brut NV (pictured) with fish and chips

This is made for M&S by Chapel Down winemaker Josh Donaghay-Spire from a blend of Pinot Noir with some Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Meunier.

Quite different in style to the Eight Acres, this is much firmer, with citrus and stone fruit flavours. Try it with fish and chips for a British match made in heaven.

Helen’s latest book, The Knackered Mother’s Wine Guide (£8.99, Bluebird) is out now.

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