Just how did Rosé wine become the biggest wine trend since – well wine? It’s the quintessential summer wine which has experienced dazzling worldwide success with global consumption increasing 57% over the past year.
Once regarded as a sweet drink fit only for an unsophisticated palate, Rosé is now popular throughout the world appreciated by both the wine community and the millennial digital age community - translating into a boom in sales.
And boom it certainly has. Sales of Rosé wine in the U.S. market alone have grown by more than 40% per year — the fastest growth rate of any category. Europe has followed a similar trend with Rosé now accounting for a third of all wine sold in France.
At the start of this century, Rosé was hardly considered a serious drink, and it wasn’t a celebrity-endorsed category, but since 2002 it has become both, with celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Bon Jovi and Sarah Jessica Parker launching their own labels.
By 2015, Rosé was officially mainstream – largely attributable to the pink drink’s reputation as being fashionably premium, yet versatile and affordable and very much influenced by social media. After all, there would be no “White Girl Rosé” or “Yes Way Rosé” without Instagram. And why not? Rosé is fun, photogenic and screams “we are cool and socially relevant”.
The demand for Rosé in Australia is no different to the rest of the world and we’re drinking it faster than ever, with the category growing nationwide more than 65 per cent in value and more than 53 per cent in volume in the past year, according to liquor industry sales data.
Everyone is Turning Pink.
Rosé, it seems, can be many things to many people. Perhaps it is this versatility that is the key to its success. Not just in the sense that it appeals to wine drinkers of all stripes, but in the way that you don’t have to stress too much about it – it suits a variety of occasions and when served chilled, can be a refreshing accompaniment to a variety of warm weather meals and it tops the charts for food-friendly versatility. For a Rosé, colour is essential — it's a major aspect of its appeal. It is impossible to define the "correct" colour of Rosé wine, which can range from pale pink to light red. The vast range of colours depends on the grape used and richness of the grape's phenolic compounds and winemaking techniques used, which include the length of time the grape skins have been in contact with the grape juice.
The Oldest & Most Modern of Wines
Rosé wine is not just the trendy wine of the 21st century. The origins of Rosé winemaking can be traced back to the first planting of grapevines in Provence 2,600 years ago when much of the red wine produced was pale red. This was because wine-making techniques in those days were very different and the method of macerating red grapes, which gives red wine its colour, was relatively unknown. Wine made from red grapes back then was therefore Rosé. By mid-100 B.C, the Romans had popularised darker red wines in Europe, but Rosé wine remained popular in parts of France - most notably, Provincia Romana which is today's Provence region as well as the surrounding Mediterranean area. Provence is the oldest wine region in France, and Rosé is the oldest known wine.
Almost all of the world's wine-producing regions make Rosé. The first, and arguably, the most important Rosé producer is France, where it is predominantly found in the southern region of Tavel, Provence; and the Loire Valley in Anjou. Other important regions are Piedmont in Italy, Rioja in Spain, and Styria in Austria.
Australia’s fresh and vibrant Rosé is generally produced from red grape varieties such as Shiraz and Grenache, with only minimal contact on skins to give the wines their signature ‘blush’.
As a fantastic food wine, the versatility of Rosé is its standout feature as it can be paired with a wide variety of foods and flavours and handles spices and heat very well. Rosé is great alongside salads, antipasto platters, fish dishes or even your favourite curry.