WHAT IS WHISPERING ANGEL?
If you’re a regular wine drinker, the chances are you’ll be familiar with these next two words - ‘Whispering Angel’. It’s certainly the most successful brand to come out of France in the past 20 years and has helped to put Provence firmly on the wine map.
WHY IS WHISPERING ANGEL SO POPULAR?Whispering Angel has managed to achieve in the rosé wine world what Dom Pérignon has successfully done in the Champagne world and that’s to create a luxury brand that sells in vast quantities. We’re talking millions of bottles. And at around 20 quid a pop, Whispering Angel isn’t the kind of wine most of us can afford to drink on a regular basis.
As you know, we’re not interested in monster brands at Smashed Grapes no matter how successful they are. We champion the little guys, who put their hearts and souls into everything they do from tending their vines to crafting their wines. That’s why we’ve found 5 stonking alternatives to the angel that will give a similar experience and the same level of enjoyment and there’ll still be change in your pocket. Tick, tick and tick!
TOP 5 ROSÉS YOU SHOULD TRY BEFORE WHISPERING ANGEL
First up is the La Vie en Rose Cinsault Rosé from the Languedoc. Swing around the Med to the west of Provence until you reach Narbonne and you’re within grape-throwing distance of the home of this pale pink beauty. Made predominantly from Cinsault with a little Grenache and Syrah added, the main grapes found in Provence rosés, this is supremely smashable and is made in a lip-smacking, food-friendly style too so make sure you’ve got a few bottles close at hand when you next fire up the barbie. You can drink two bottles of this for the price of one of the angel and trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Less than an hour’s drive from La Vie en Rose lie the old, gnarly Cinsault vineyards that go into the making of Mont Rocher’s Vieilles Vignes Rosé. Old and gnarly mean smaller quantities of mega-ripe fruit. Again, made in a Provençal style which means brief contact with the skins and fermentation in stainless steel tanks, this wine absolutely sings and smells like a bowl of freshly picked summer berries. Bursting with flavour, there’s a lovely citrus acidity too that keeps your taste buds refreshed after every sip. Drink this absolute gem with a classic paella or seafood salad.
If it’s a true-blue Provence rosé you’re after and you don’t mind spending an extra couple of quid, the Palm par L’Escarelle Rosé is a must-try. One of the region’s most prestigious wine estates, Château de L’Escarelle is the stuff of dreams with its organically certified vineyards surrounded by the most beautiful woodland and is an absolute Mecca for wildlife. Almost an equal blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, there’s no mistaking the vibrant pale-pink colour and the crisp, racy style this wine delivers. There’s plenty of bang for the buck here.
Whether it’s Brad Pitt, Kylie or Post Malone behind the wine, one thing you can’t fail to notice is the packaging. And like the guys behind Whispering Angel and all its sibling angels, as much focus is placed on what’s on the outside as what’s inside the bottle. So, if you’re a sucker for a cool bottle as well as a deliciously tasting wine, the Rosapasso made by Biscardo should float your boat. This northern Italian rosé may be a long way from Provence but the style is not. The main difference is this is made exclusively from Pinot Noir, but the colour and flavours are almost identical and the empty bottle will look cool re-filled with olive oil or bath salts!
For the closest match to the big brand itself, you should try the Château de L’Escarelle ‘Les Deux Anges’ Rosé. Yes, you clever French-speakers out there, you heard me correctly. Two angels for the price of one! The only difference is that this wine has been around longer than the whispering version and is so called because the owners uncovered a couple of cheerful cherub statues while they were excavating and renovating the property. Clearly that pair know the effects of drinking too much Provence rosé too! Once the grapes are harvested, they go through a rigorous sorting process not once but twice, so that only the very best berries are used. The wine is smoother than the cherub’s backside and is really classy stuff. The critics think so too with one awarding a score of 92/100 which, for this price, is ridiculously good.
So come on peeps and get involved. It’s International Rosé Day on Saturday (11th) and we’ve got enough pink juice to make you blush.