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The week in wine: Benjamin Darnault Pique-Nique Rosé 2020

The week in wine: Benjamin Darnault Pique Nique Rose 2020

This week we delve into the world of Grenache grapes to taste-test a refreshing rosé

Welcome to the third edition of our weekly wine column, in which we highlight a great bottle and let you know its price point, the story behind its winemakers and, most importantly, how it tastes. Whether you're a dyed-in-the-wool imbiber or looking to refine your palate with a diverse range of bottles, check back every week for a new review.

Rosé has generally been associated with the summer, and perhaps rightly so. For me it'll always conjure memories of barbecues I'd attend as a teenager, its light and fizzy texture complementing a plateful of veggie burgers and chips as I lolled around on summer days. It's a drink laced with both alcohol and nostalgia for me, and as a result it's one I'm reluctant to revisit. Removing my rosé-tinted glasses, with my palate forever-changed after over a decade of drinking heavy reds, could lead to a major disappointment, like listening to an album you loved as a teenager and realising it all sounds a bit naff.

After avoiding the taste of rosé for most of my adult life, I find myself in the curious position of reviewing a bottle of Benjamin Darnault Pique-Nique Rosé 2020 for this column. While I've mostly looked forward to an evening sampling a new bottle, this taste test was like reacquainting myself with an old friend – apprehensive, a little nervous, hoping I'd enjoy their company as much as I used to.

I needn't have worried. The Pique-Nique wasn't just like finding that your old friend is as good as before, but that they might be a little better. The first taste was sweet to the point that it could be described as a tempting dessert after a cheese platter (or, as I'm a vegan, a tasty slice of Appleyard). Made with Grenache grapes, It had the qualities of a white wine but without any sharpness, and the taste of ice cold berries left me coolly refreshed.

The wine was made by Benjamin Grenault, an independent vintner based in the Côtes de Thau region of France, who obtains his grapes for this wine from a cooperative high in the Languedoc hills and sells through Naked Wines and a variety of other stockists. As for cost, this light bottle will set you back £9.99 at retail and £8.99 if you buy directly from Naked Wines.

We have to hand it to Benjamin, he's put together a fine bottle and made sure my friendly reunion was more than a one-time meet-up. I still view rosé as more of a summertime tipple, but I won't be turning down a glass if it's handed to me at my next Christmas party.

The Benjamin Darnault Pique-Nique Rosé 2020 is available for £8.99 from Naked Wines, or as part of their subscription service.

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