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Rolfe spices things up

Published:  23 July, 2008

Project Tikka Masala - the codename for former Unwins and United Wineries marketing director Bill Rolfe's attempt to create a Portuguese ros wine that will go with spicy food - has become Pink Elephant. The 4.99 wine is made by winemakers Jos Neiva and David Baverstock in conjunction with D&F Wine Shippers.

Rolfe managed to persuade the likes of Sarah Jane Evans MW, Anthony Rose, Fiona Beckett, Matthew Jukes, John Radford, Hakkasan's Christine Parkinson, Liz Aked from Spar, Maria Gallup from the Co-op, Ranjit Mathrani (owner of the Masala Zone restaurant chain, where the tasting was held) and Harpers' own Christian Davis to participate in the blind tasting to find a suitable wine to work on.

Various wines were tasted blind. They included Mateus ros, Jacob's Creek, Kumala, Concha y Toro, Gallo Sierra Valley, and Waitrose Ros d'Anjou.

'The purpose of this project was to match spicy foods in a way that no other wine has attempted. This is why we invited 12 of the wine trade's best palates to take part in an intense food and wine matching exercise and to recommend the definitive style,' said Rolfe, director of 10 International.

The wine is intended to appeal to mainstream ros consumers, predominantly women.