Everything in the garden is rose

Drink the pink
On the sauce: Mateus rose
by uploaded: 26-07-2004

Since the beginning of time, masculinity has been most clearly depicted through the symbol of the lingam, a tall, erect pillar. The lingam shape can be seen in many everyday objects: street bollards, for instance, and more importantly, wine bottles, while its female counterpart, the yoni, gently, discreetly, roundly, and quietly radiates a calming feminine influence through the circle - the shape of a bottle of Mateus rose wine.

"In happier times, Mateus Rose hit the spot, charming everyone who tasted it. It did the season, appeared at dinner parties and weddings and picnics and garden parties"
Condemned to the bottom of the wine list, province of teenage girls’ first alcoholic chunders and fuel for the tedious old great aunt you are willing to die, Mateus Rose now lies neglected at the back of Oddbins, its blushing shoulders clouded with a layer of dust. Its crime? Mateus Rose goes with everything. Neither dry nor sweet, red nor white, heavy nor light, fizzy or flat (it’s petillant, that weird level of bubbliness you only otherwise find in "off" orange juice), it can be drunk alone, with savoury dishes or alongside a pudding.

In the days when graduates came from single-barrelled universities and no-one had a masters, before people specialised themselves into a corner and categorised everything and went into analysis and feng-shuied their houses and moved things about and constantly switched jobs and partners and countries and hair colours, being adaptable and ordinary and having mass appeal was good. In those happy, jack-of-all-trades-times, Mateus Rose hit the spot, charming everyone who tasted it. It did the season, appeared at dinner parties and weddings and picnics and garden parties. Everybody liked it, and if anyone thought it might be a bit dicey drinking pink wine, they could blame it on the Portugeezers. It’s foreign, innit. They do things a bit different over there. But Mateus Rose tastes a damn sight nicer than dried fish. Perfect exotica: looks racy, tastes staid.

But nowadays wine is expected to whack you around the head with flavour: slimy Chardonnays coating your tongue with oil, highly scented Sauvignon Blancs which taste like licking an Avon lady. Great when you want to show off at a party identifying grape varieties, but not always that delicious. So the pink petillant has faded into obscurity, ousted by "big" whites and tannic reds.

The mass appeal of Mateus Rose in the seventies was not only because it was rather chic and exotic, but also because it tasted very nice. And it still does: medium, not huge in flavour but enough to stand up to a prawn or two, and not so full-on that if you got outside a bottle on a sunny afternoon your mouth will feel like a peed-on blackberry bush.

Wine doesn’t have to be "individual" to be great to drink, try a cold glass of Mateus Rose in a pub garden on a Saturday afternoon, take a bottle to a river bank and drink with a ripe brie and crusty bread, serve a glass with a slice of quivering lemon tart after supper. It really does work with everything. Ok, so a warm bucketful of pink fizz with an aortic-red side of beef might be a bit gopping, but why not try it out? And if you don’t like the wine? The empty bottle makes a lovely candlestick (the yoni receives the lingam, making the union of man and woman complete).
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Mateus Rose: it's foreign, innit

Pink ladyboy

A few sprigs of mint
Mateus rose
One shot peach schnapps
Soda water
Cinnamon stick

Bruise the mint by squashing with a pestle and mortar. Place in a highball glass and half fill with ice. Pour over the peach schnapps add the wine and top with soda water.

bint wine offer
Not convinced by our paean to Mateus Rose? Well, then you can order your own delicious case of wine, put together by the award-winning independent wine merchant, Yapp Brothers in association with Undiscovered Wine.

And, binters, this case is on offer at a discount of 20 per cent on normal list prices. You get three bottles of each of these tasty numbers:

Haut Poitou: Tour Signy Sauvignon 2003
Côtes de Gascogne: Domaine Millet 2003
Coteaux d’Aix: Château des Gavelles 2003
Vin de Pays de Mont Caume: Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

This case of 12 bottles costs £65 including delivery (for our UK readers only!) but guess what? Yes, the offer is only available for a limited period.

To order the case, please call Yapp Brothers on 01747 860423 and ask for the "Undiscovered/bint offer" or email: sales@yapp.co.uk
, leave your name and a telephone number and Yapp will call you straight back. Couldn't be easier.