Party season has begun and if you’re planning on catching up with friends over some canapés, then prosecco or rosé are great wines to serve.

I’m going to be honest: hen parties where cheap, sweet warm glasses of prosecco were served ruined the Italian bubbles for me for years.

The idea of prosecco being great value went a step too far. The thing is prosecco is like any other wine. If it costs €5 a bottle, it’s not going to be great.

The two I have selected are around €15 and worth every penny. That’s because when prosecco is well made, it’s light and bright with beautiful flavours of peach and citrus.

With its gentle bubbles, it’s easy to drink on its own but dry prosecco (brut) also pairs well with canapés with its delicate sweetness complementing salty flavours such as the sticky cocktail sausages.

You might be wondering why I’m suggesting rosé in the middle of winter, but we need to break free of this assumption that rosé should only be served on a sunny day.

It’s a great wine to serve if you’re having people over for drinks as its really easy to drink and very food friendly.

Easy rosé

I’ve selected two French rosé wines at different price points. Provence, where Whispering Angel is made, has established itself as the home of exceptional Rosé, arguably the best Rosé in the world. The conditions make for excellent rosé, it’s got the sun but temperatures are mild encouraging the growth of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvédre grapes. And excellent wine-making techniques has resulted in a pale pink wine which is delicate and dry with good acidity. Côtes du Rhône about three hours north is also another good region for the grapes and as it doesn’t have the Provence hype, you can get very good rosé at a more affordable price.

Conte Priuli Oro Prosecco

Conte Priuli Oro Prosecco.

Marks & Spencer, €15

With its gold bottle, this prosecco is festive before you even pop it but it’s not just style, it’s got plenty of substance. A beautiful fusion of creamy and crisp, apple and citrus flavours shine through with more subtle notes of white peach. Prosecco should be enjoyed young and fruity, most don’t age too well so this isn’t one you want to get dusty, pop open this season. Its also available in a delicious sparkling rosé which would also work great with canapés.

Simply Better Santa Margherita Prosecco

Simply Better Santa Margherita Prosecco.

Dunnes Stores, €15.60

The Simply Better range is all about quality, so no surprise that the newest prosecco in the range comes from Santa Margherita’s vineyards. A renowned winery, it has been producing quality wine since the 1930s and has exactly what you want from your Italian bubbles. Fresh and bright, fruity peach and pops of citrus shine through but it is the long finish that makes this elegant wine an excellent choice. Great with shellfish, this is just the wine for Neven’s baby gem cups with prawns and mango.

Specially Selected Cotes du Rhone Rosé

Specially Selected Cotes du Rhone Rosé.

Aldi, €8.99

If you’re having lots of people over and want a real crowd pleaser, this is a great choice at a reasonable price. Fresh and elegant, delicate notes of raspberry and redcurrant means this rosé is nearly too easy to drink. Very pretty in the glass, it is dry and crisp with a finish that is impressive and unexpected at this price point. This will pair lovely with Neven’s canapés but what will also work well with it is a few spicy sausage rolls. Honestly, they will go down a hit!

Whispering Angel

Whispering Angel.

O’Brien Wines, Brown Thomas, independent off licences and select Super Valu and Dunnes Stores locations, €26

Whispering Angel Rosé has established a bit of a cult status. The iconic rosé made its way from Provence to America and hit the shores with a bang. To date, they have sold over 3.2m bottles worldwide. But it’s not just a marketing ploy (well not all). It is a beautiful wine with refreshing strawberries and citrusy grapefruit flavours making it a delicate rosé which has a beautiful crisp, clean finish.

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