31 August 2007

Frozé -- Pink Pinotage on Ice (again)

Funny how innovative ideas seem to come out of the ether and strike several people at the same time. Earlier this year Stormhoek was grabbing the attention with a pink Pinotage designed for serving over ice.

And now here comes another. Frozé is, they say, "the refreshing fruity pink wine that's very nice ON ICE".

Frozé's web-site explains how the idea came about: 'One day, we were all talking about how much we all loved rosé wine but how rubbish a lot of them were - too sweet/too puny/too much like hard work. "We need a new type of rosé!" said someone (Paul thinks it was him, but Ant is sure it wasn't). "A fresh, clean-as-a-whistle rosé with loads of flavour, which costs less than a fiver but tastes like it should be more. Fruity and unpretentious. Fun. But also serious."

"Not too alcoholic, either," added Ant (or maybe Paul). "People want to chill out, not pass out."

So we got to work. We played around with lots of grape varieties and finally hit on a blend of Pinotage, Cinsault, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that tasted just great. The kind of wine that you won't try to hide behind more expensive bottles at a friend's party. The kind of wine that makes you want to stroke a labrador's head or start singing Madeleine Peyroux songs. If you know what we mean.

We soon discovered that our wine tasted even nicer when we added a couple of ice cubes. Don't ask us why. Maybe the hydrogen atoms trigger a complex molecular reaction with previously inert flavour compounds in the grapes. Maybe it's magic. Or perhaps it's simply the case that everything gets better with ice.'

Frozé is the inspiration of a UK company called Off-Piste Wines Ltd. It is a blend of Pinotage (42%), Cinsault (26%), Merlot (18%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (14%) -- 'but that might all change next year' they say, and at 12.05% abv is deliberately produced with a lower alcohol level. It is made by Christian Visser at Wamakersvallei Winery in Wellington.

Frozé is said to be stocked by the major UK supermarkets, inclusing Tesco, Waitrose and the Co-op, although I haven't come across it.

Maybe the real problem is that, as they say, it is a wine for outdoors on hot sunny days. And this years summer has been on of torrential rain, floods, and cold. Not ideal barbie weather -- or for ice cold wines.

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