Think Pink

Australian sparkling rosé by way of London

The United Kingdom is not the first place we turn to for wine inspiration.

So it was a most pleasant surprise to come away from a meal at the just-opened Whitehall Bar + Kitchen with a new favorite bottle.

At Whitehall, the latest project from the team behind Highlands and Mary Queen of Scots, the menu features a roster of British dishes, from pressed duck ($12) to mushy pea fritters ($6). The theme continues in Whitehall's cocktails, which rely heavily on England's workhorse: gin.

But for the wine list, general manager Kieran Chavez interprets Whitehall's organizing principles loosely, looking to the once-British colony of Australia for affordable, singular selections.

One such discovery: a sparkling rosé from Tasmania that betrays its name. The Jansz Cuvee Rosé ($48 for 750 ml), a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, is the height of restraint. Its red-grape expression is so judicious that the liquid barely blushes in the glass; we'd never have guessed that it's a rosé.

But its stout body and off-dry flavor provides a heft that complements the kitchen's sturdy eats. Pop a bottle at the bar to enjoy with those fritters, at once saline and sweet.

Happy hour, London's calling.

Whitehall Bar + Kitchen, 19 Greenwich Ave. (between W. 10th and Christopher sts.); 212-675-7261 or whitehall-nyc.com