Rosé please – but which one?

Rose wine in clear bottles

Written by Paula Goddard

Paula started her home-made beer and country wine journey in the 1990s when she won the Tunbridge Wells Wine Circle Brookside Novices’ Cup, Ladies Trophy, E&R Jubilee Bowl and Wells Trophy. Which matched her move from the research team at a food packaging manufacturer and deciding to be more involved with the food inside the packaging while beginning teaching food and drink courses at adult education colleges. Tea tasting expanded into popular wine courses that were regularly over-subscribed. She now runs online wine courses with Buckinghamshire Adult Learning, and tasting events through her own wine website You’ll find her on social media dispensing tips, views and wine reviews as @wineuncorkeduk

12 June 2022

So you know you like rosé wine but how do you choose a rosé wine kit that will give the flavours you enjoy. The answer lies in knowing your Zinfandel rosés from everything else.

Californian Zinfandel rosés became famous in the 1970s due in part to their easy-drinking semi-sweet taste and also because of the confusing White Zinfandel labelling. The name came about after some red wine made with the red grape Zinfandel stopped working half way through. A cunning label name was used to sell what was neither a red wine or a white wine. Zinfandel is now part of the huge rosé success story which has seen a 40% rise in global consumption since 2002.

Choosing a Zinfandel-style wine kit like Beaverdale Blush (Blush is just another name for rosé) will give you a similar strawberry jam tasting result. The alternative is to opt for rosé wine kit that is nearer in flavour to a white wine like the On The House Blush.

Is it a red or a white?

Rosé wines may be neither quite a white wine or quite a red wine in colour, but in their flavour many rosé wines have more in common with white wines. The flavours of white wines – sharp lemon and apple – are there in rosés too but often tamed with some strawberry fruitiness.

At the other end of the scale are the less common rosé wines that taste almost like light red wines. These usually have a flavour of plum and light cherry. In the supermarket wine aisle you’ll find that Rioja rosés are like this but for wine kits try the Merlot rosés like the Cellar 7 Merlot Blush.

Rosé wine kits

The wine kit section can be perused by either going straight to all the Blush and Rosé Kits or searching for specific kits with specific flavours. Here are some of the main rosé kits to get you started.

Magnum Medium Dry Rosé 30 bottle kit (£18) This budget kit comes in a can and contains 1.7kg of grape juice concentrate made from a mix of white and red Italian grapes. Use it with the suggested additional 3.5kg of granulated white sugar to make a lightly flavoured rosé or as a basis for your own recipes and ferment with additional summer fruits like strawberries.

Beaverdale Blush 30 bottle kit (£48) The most expensive of the rosé kits will give you wines that taste like Californian Zinfandel Blush wines with their sweet and fruity flavours. Not to be confused with the alternative Beaverdale Grenache Rosé wine kit that produces more of a light red. The kit requires no additional sugar to make the base wine although you can add extra sugar solution or Wine Sweetener at the end to back sweeten (jargon alert: sweeten up afterwards).

Soloman Grundy Gold Zinfandel Rosé 30 bottle kit (£24.99) The Soloman Grundy 7-day wine kits require the addition of sugar and are therefore cheaper than the all-grape concentrate Beaverdale and so will give a lighter tasting result. The ‘add back’ flavour sachet within the Soloman Grundy kit brings the results up to a Californian Zinfandel rosé style.

Australian Blend Merlot Blush Rosé 7-day 30 bottle kit (£38.59) The Merlot grape concentrate sourced from Europe gives the plum flavour to this rosé while the added white grape concentrate provides the crisper part of the taste. Only Australian in style, this is another of UK Hambleton Bard’s kits along with Cantina and Magnum.

Cantina Pink Montecino 5-day 28 bottle kit (£33.95) already has the sugar included with Italian grape concentrate to make a really quick rosé. The name hints at the Italian wine region of Montelcino which is famous for making red wines similar to its larger neighbour Montepulciano Chiantis. The rosés from this area are known to be rich in flavour and this wine kit will give an Italian result.

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