I’m no sommelier. I can’t even pronounce the word. And I don’t know much about wine. But I do know this: I like it best when it's pink and costs £3.50.
I like pink wine because I’m fancy. I like it cheap because I’m poor. I like it often cos I’m miserable.
People say pink wine – or rosé if you’ve got a boner for accuracy – is only a summer drink. "It's not warm enough for rosé," they say. Yeah, in YOUR FROSTY NETHERS maybe.
Pink wine has nothing to do with summer, and everything to do with your terrible life choices. Any time you’re crying uncontrollably near my house with a minimum of £3.50 in your pocket, that's pink wine time.
And never is rosé more rosy than when it’s a bottle of possibly the finest pink wine in existence: Premium Blush.
I first discovered Premium Blush in a bargain bin at a Stoke Newington mini mart. Sitting dusty and unloved amidst the posher plonks, the Premium Blush was on sale for £2.50. Bargain, I thought. Two pounds bloomin’ fifty. And it’s not just any blush. It’s Premium Blush! Oh, I bought one alright. And I’ve never looked back. Other than constantly obsessing over every decision I've made up to this point in my life.
In the glass, the colour can be described as “pink”. I googled other names for pink, and the internet said I could use fuchsia or salmon. But I’m a straight-talking kind of wine mom, and I say it’s pink. Viscosity-wise, it clings to the sides of the mug I'm drinking it from, like that one Facebook friend who turned a chance meeting at the STD clinic five years ago into a lifetime of liking and commenting on every single thing I do. Thanks, Clive.
On the nose, notes of desperation and financial insecurity give way to peaches and strawberries, which are complemented on the tongue by the slow burn of paint thinners and a sense of total, crippling loneliness.
When it comes to food, Premium Blush is a versatile tipple. After months of experimentation, I’ve found it pairs well with all kinds of dish: fizzy belts, Pringles, hummus (and that's just the meal I had last night).
The best part is that if you fall asleep in a crying fit after only one glass, it’s still half the price of a large glass at the pub, and you didn't have to put on trousers to drink it.
Of course, the halcyon days of November are gone, and Premium Blush is no longer two-fifty a bottle. It’s impossible to say who is responsible for the recent £1 price hike. Brexit, perhaps. Or maybe my predilection for the premium things in life drove the price up.
But fear not, fans of bargain alcohol and overzealous wine reviews: This isn’t a supply and demand issue! I’ve never seen any of the staff at the Church Street mini mart refill the bin, but it's always full. Perhaps it refills itself, like some magical device in a whimsical short story. No sooner have I plucked a dusty, wonky-labelled bottle from the bin than I find another sitting in its place: Equally dusty. Equally Premium. Blush AF. There’s a chance I’m just failing to properly count the number of bottles left in the bin, but why ruin a good story with things like logic and truth.
As a practical matter, those looking to add some Premium Blush to their lives should buy three bottles and a packet of Mini Cheddars to ensure they’re over the £8 minimum for card purchases required at certain Church Street mini marts – cheese and wine tastings are not just the domain of the Sloane set!
Premium Blush is not only refreshing enough to distract from the screaming misery of existence, it also counts as one of your five a day according to a fun meme I saw on Facebook. All that, and light enough on the palate to avoid the kind of brooding intensity that crippled all my previous relationships. After putting down your glass, the only bad aftertaste will be your stalling career and the overpowering memories of being rejected from every friend group you’ve tried to join.
Oh, sweet pink ambrosia! What did I do to deserve you? In a year when there is little good to cling to, I think we could all benefit from a little more Premium Blush in our lives, and a lot fewer pants.