Seeing the World Through Rosé-Colored Glasses
Before the turn of the century, the mention of rosé wine in the U.S. was often met with a bit of eye-rolling—a residual response to the sweet, trendy rosés like Lancers and Mateus that became a too-groovy cliché in the 1970s. But today the pink-hued beverage, widely imbibed in France (where it outsells white), is finally catching on in the States. In fact, the U.S. is now rosé’s second-biggest market, with most consumers preferring dry versions.
Contrary to the common misperception, rosé wines are never a mixture and white and red, said Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence during a recent event in New Orleans. Rather, they garner their tint—which can range from palest pink to bold coral—from limited exposure to grape skins before fermentation.
Though Provence is considered the birthplace of rosé, these wines are produced throughout the wine-producing world. Want one from Hungary? Got it. California? Yep. Italy? Sure. The rosés from Provence are all made with various combinations of the following grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle, Carignan and Tibouren. Elsewhere, the pink wine is made from whatever grape the producer wants to use.
“This year I introduced my first signature wine- Lavender Row Rosé,” said Leora Madden, owner of Pearl Wine Co. “It’s a Grenache blend of grapes you would typically find in Provence without the Provence price.”
Aromatic and elegant, rosés vary in body and flavor—often carrying red fruit, citrus and floral notes. Their crisp freshness and the fact that they are traditionally served chilled makes them well-suited to our warm weather and cuisine. Rosés are some of the most versatile wines to pair with food, making them as right to tote along to a picnic or a potluck as they are at a sit-down or high-end restaurant.