Drinking Pink: The Rosé Renaissance
There’s no denying it – we’re in the midst
of a revolution. A Rosé revolution!
Rosé; Rosato; Rosado; Rosewein; Różowe Wino... no matter what you call it, there’s no denying the appeal of this wonderful wine style, even more so with
the warm weather in full swing.
It’s the trendy summer tipple that’s been sweeping the wine-drinking world in recent years. Whether it’s popping a bottle of sparkling pink or sipping on a glass with some seafood, people can’t seem to get enough of it, and it’s become one of the fastest-growing wine categories in the last five years, with the most significant markets being the US, France, South Africa, Denmark, and Australia.
The origins of Rosé winemaking can be traced back to ancient Greece, when much of the red wine produced was pale red. 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.
Historically, Rosé wine practically disappeared in the nineteenth century and the first half of the 20th century. Red wine was reserved for peasants and workers, while Rosé became the fashionable wine of choice for the middle class in the 1960s.
Today, and especially in the past 20 years, there is a new surge in popularity, and the number of Rosés on the market continues to grow, seemingly unabated. In fact, the demand for traditional dry Rosé is so widespread that across France, Rosé outsells white wine and outside of France, it is experiencing a rebirth.
Closer to home, Rosé really is having a resurgence with sales continuing to rise as wine lovers around the country become more and more familiar with the prettiest wine around.
Almost all of the world’s wine-producing regions make Rosés. 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.
For this wine, colour is essential – it’s a major aspect of its appeal. It is impossible to define the “correct” colour of Rosé wine, which can be a veritable rainbow of different shades of pink – from pale copper, pastel pink, cherry red, incandescent fuchsia, mauve blushes and magenta, through to apricot and even orange. The vast range of colours depends on the grape used, the richness of the grape’s phenolic compounds and the winemaking techniques used, including the length of time the grape skins have been in contact with the grape juice. And when it comes to the taste, you can expect sweet, savoury, dry, textural, smooth, light, creamy, heavy – you name it!
Australia’s fresh and vibrant Rosés are generally produced from red grape varieties such as Shiraz and Grenache, with only minimal contact on skins to give the wines their signature ‘blush’.
The great thing about Rosé is that it can be enjoyed all year round. But it is really in its prime in the warmer months. After all, is there anything more magical than a summer picnic or BBQ with friends, delicious food and a glass of gorgeous pink in your hand?
As a fantastic food wine, it can be paired with various foods and flavours and handles spices and heat very well. Rosé is excellent alongside salads, antipasto platters, fish dishes or even your favourite curry. When pairing with cheese, Rosé is the perfect accompaniment to soft goat cheese.
Rosé usually has a delicate flavour and a balance of sweetness and acidity that make it a refreshing palate-cleansing drink. Best served young and at a chilled temperature, Rosé wine is a tasty alternative to a red or white. It can be a refreshing accompaniment to a variety of meals – as it tops the charts for food-friendly versatility.
Whether it’s a lunchtime picnic, a glass or two as you’re cooking dinner or relaxing by the pool, Rosé has a little something to offer for everyone every day!
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