Rosé d’Anjou Wines looks set to win the pink vote after becoming the official sponsor of the upcoming Gay Icons exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

The exhibition, which will run from July to October, celebrates the contribution of gay people – and the importance of the gay icon – to British history and culture.

60 icons were chosen by a panel of ten selectors, including such gay luminaries as Sir Elton John, Sir Ian McKellen and Billie Jean King.

Each member of the panel selected six inspirational ‘icons’ from the past 150 years, from the openly gay: Francis Bacon and Harvey Milk, to those who kept their sexuality secret – Daphne Du Maurier and Walt Whitman. Surprise inclusions to the portrait line up are Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou.

The show includes photographic works by Andy Warhol, Cecil Beaton and Linda McCartney.

Olivier Lecomte, president of Rosé d’Anjou, thinks pink wine is the perfect pairing for the exhibition. ‘Our wines are trendy and appeal to a broad range of wine drinkers – from every walk of life’.

The wine has been specially added to the gallery restaurant list for the duration of the exhibition.

Rosé hit the headlines this month after draft EU regulations emerged that would allow rosé wines to be made from a mixture of red and white wine. The proposal, set out by the European Commission, will be put to a final vote on 27 April.

Sales of rosé in the UK rose from £114 million in 2002 to £200 million in 2005.

photo: Joe Orton by Lewis Morley 1965, National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Lucy Shaw