Today’s Top Tips challenge some pre-conceptions about a term that is nearly 50 years old and started life as an “easier to say” alternative to blanc de noir.
Eventually, that resulting shorthand (Blush) spawned a whole genre of wines – many of them completely different from where things started (and not all of them attracting universal approval).
However, my first recommendation suggests that some kind of re-appraisal may be due.
Today's other selection, by contrast, deals with something that needs no such re-evaluation.
I refer to the dependable, inexpensive wines that careful selection often unearths among reds under the (almost) “catch all” South Eastern Australia label.
The shiraz being featured today is certainly one of the fruits of the type of careful selection I have in mind.
Both wine listings benefit from my usual practice of providing images and, where possible, hyperlinks.
Expanding on that Blush controversy
The history of the term “blush” is nicely explained in this web post.
However, pale versions of zinfandel with relatively high residual sugar began to emerge and often led to “Blush” wines being stereo-typed as “off-dry”.
These days though, food-friendly, dry rosé is becoming paler and paler and, as that gathers pace, reactions to the term “blush” probably need re-evaluation.
Concha Y Toro certainly seems to think so judging by this new “year-round rosé” that adds traces of pinot noir to its sauvignon blanc base – and does indeed call itself “blush”.
The good news is that the pinot does not just provide colour but also adds extra fruit components.
So, with attractively ripe fruit, 2021 Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc Blush (around £7.50 at Ocado and Nisa Stores and 12.5% abv) brings us a light cocktail of peach, strawberry and red cherry flavours.
Those elements are, however, neatly combined with good grapefruit and tangerine acidity, gentle savoury hints and a long finish.
Best of all, though, with no more than 4 grams per litre of sugar, this does demonstrate how concepts of “blush” are moving on.
Note that Ocado seems to have a multi-buy offer on this wine where those promotions are possible.
Uncomplicated Aussie red
Quite a bit of SE Australian shiraz is in stores now and can often provide reliable budget level wines – that Top Tip Leaps & Bounds version a week or two ago is an example.
Here is another one – suitable for uncomplicated and unpretentious mid-week drinking and available at a great price.
Medium bodied and smooth, 2021 The Workshop Wine Company Shiraz (£4.79 at Morrisons and 13.5% abv) has herbal, plum and bramble flavours partnered by good acidity and hints of nutmeg and chocolate.
My next post (on Friday not Thursday this time) contains details of promotions at major supermarkets and brings you up to date with Friday Treat and Sunday Best choices.
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