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Pink perfection; SAM WYLIE-HARRIS seclects the best rose picks for summer sipping in the sunshine.

Byline: SAM WYLIE-HARRIS

THE shade of the season, pink is also the colour to sink. Whether it's the palest blush or a pinkish bronze, still or sparkling, everything's coming up roses.

Here's how to get your pink on and present the best roses for sunny days.

1Waitrose Premium Bag-in-Box Wine, COte Bleu Mediterranee ROSE 2016, PROVENCE, FRANCE (PS12.99, reduced from PS14.99, until September 13, 1.5ltrs, Waitrose, in-store) It's not often a boxed wine makes you want to dive right in, but with an Art Deco-style label that makes a fashion statement, this cube is right on cue.

"Our new pale, dry rose is particularly exciting as it taps into the latest wine trends we're seeing at Waitrose," says Victoria Mason, wine buyer. "COTE Bleu is sourced from specially selected vineyards in the sunny Mediterranean and the box design is contemporary and fun."

Part of a new premium bag-in-box range to meet increasing demand for the environmentally friendly format, the wines stay fresh in the fridge for four to six weeks.

2 LELLEI ROSE 2015, HUNGARY (PS5.49, Lidl, in-store) If you're feeling adventurous, Lidl has thrown open the doors to its largest ever Hungarian wine cellar and this ripe, fruity rose will keep you scurrying back for more.

A pinot noir rose that demonstrates the quality of wine Hungary can produce, Lidl has sourced 15 new wines to suit different tastes.

This is one of its top picks for summertime dishes, such as salad nicoise, or seared tuna steak.

3 16 LITTLE BLACK PIGS ROSE 2016, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (PS7.99, Virgin Wines) An appealing deep salmon pink, this is a vibrant and winey style of rose with dried cherry and savoury berry fruits that are accented by fine tannins and a fresh, grippy palate.

Vivid and engaging, the juicy finish lends plenty of freshness to this food-friendly rose that could easily do the job of a red and be paired with a roast (as Virgin's wine buyer suggests).

4 CUNE MONOPOLE ROSE 2015, RIOJA, SPAIN (PS9.95, Vino Wine Shop) Quite distinctive, this delightful strawberry blonde is a blend of viura and tempranillo and it's ripe, fruity and utterly delicious.

Pure and well rounded with aromas of apricot and peach, the balanced flavours of strawberry and raspberry fruits radiate a drink-me-now freshness.

Great for an aperitif, but could easily take on a spicy seafood paella.

5 CHAPEL DOWN ENGLISH ROSE 2016, KENT, ENGLAND (PS10, Sainsbury's) Home-grown rose is on the rise and this bronze beauty has faint aromas of wild strawberries with dried berry and currant flavours, plenty of herbal notes, and fresh acidity offers an appealing tang on the finish.

When temperatures soar, Sainsbury's see rose sales up 30% in comparison to 20% for white wine and this is the closest thing to a taste of British summertime.

6 MIRABEAU LA FOLIE SPARKLING ROSE, PROVENCE, FRANCE (PS12.99, Waitrose) If you're in the throes of a summer romance with Mirabeau (the award-winning Provencal, still rose), it could get even more lush.

The same producer has just released this stunning sparkler which displays the same beautiful ballet-pink hue, but with the added allure of tiny beads of bubbles.

Fine and delicate with subtle red berry fruit aromas, there couldn't be a prettier pink to chime with a Riviera lifestyle.

7 RAMON BILBAO LALOMBA ROSADO 2016, SPAIN (PS17.50, reduced from PS19.95, Great Western Wine) Showing the serious side of rose, this is a complex, rose-gold gem that's dressed in a handsome bottle and sealed with a trendy Vinolok glass closure.

Elegant and seamless, there's a plushness to the ripe, peachy stone fruits. Crafted in the Provence style of rose, there's depth and yet the flavours are subtle with notes of spice and cream, all wrapped together in a perfect parcel.

| All prices correct at time of going to print. Offers while stocks last.

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Stunner: Mirabeau La Folie sparkling rose

Cheers: Raise a glass of rose this summer
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Aug 12, 2017
Words:663
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