If it seems that all the sudden you’ve been hearing about rosé, you’re right. Over the last two summers, this newly trending nectar of summer has been all the rage. Much can be credited to the fact that today’s rosé is no longer the sickeningly sweet rosé of your grandmother. It is now brighter and drier with all the strawberry and vanilla still included, more like “real” wine. According to Amy Reiter of the FoodNetwork.com rosé really hit its stride in 2014 when the distributors in coastal areas made a conscious decision to push it in tastings across the country.
Granted only 10% of wine produced today is rosé yet, according the Per and Britt Karlsson 90% of what is produced in Provence, France is rosé. Because of that, they also note “Certain wine journalists worry that Provence will never be considered a serious wine region again. But rosé wines have brought financial stability to the region.”
So where did rosé come from exactly? Talia Baiocchi of Eater.com says “the roots of rosé winemaking can be traced back to ancient Greece, when much of the red wine produced was pale red. There are at least two competing theories on exactly why that was:
According to myth, Amphictyon, son of Deucalion and Pyrrah, first mixed red wine with water at meetings of his councilors to dilute its strength in order to minimize quarreling. But, as Russ Bridenbaugh points out in his excellent expose "Stop and Smell the Rosés" in Wines & Vines Magazine it was probably a product of something a bit less mythological and a lot more practical: wine was not left to macerate for as long as it does today and, thus, never became fully red.
Eventually the Romans popularized darker red wines in Europe around the mid 100s B.C., but rosé wine remained popular in parts of France — most notably, Provincia Romana (today's Provence region) — and the surrounding Mediterranean area.
Post Jesus, rosé laid down roots in Bordeaux where, during the Middle Ages, 'clairet' — a dark rosé wine that's all but extinct today — became the most common regional wine exported to English. This domination lasted until the 18th century, when darker wines (which eventually took the name 'claret' among the Brits) again became dominant.
By the 19th Century the practice of producing "light wines" via shorter contact with grape skins during fermentation eventually spread to the United States, where rosé wine found a marginal place in California around the mid 1800s.
During the following century Provence reclaimed its former glory as tourism grew along the Côte d'Azur and brought more visibility to the wines. This inspired countries throughout Europe — notably Italy and Spain — to build the category as well. The birth of the wine U.S. was, on the other hand, a bit of an accident.”
So a few facts to clarify things for those who need a refresher.
1. Rosé is not a blend of red and white wine. Keeping in mind that all grapes are white on the inside, the only color comes from the skins, so red grapes are gently crushed and allowed to macerate with the skins until desired color is acquired then skins are removed. There are also no specific grapes used for rosé, it is being made from a huge variety, thus the color dimensions and the taste realm from juicy sweet to bone-dry.
Insert Shades of rosé here ->->->
According to winefolly.com some of the most common grape varieties used in dry/European-style rosé are Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir.
2. Drink rosé now, it does not improve with age.
3. If you want a more dry edition, buy from Europe, less dry is mostly New World. If unsure, buy from the Motherland- Provence.
4. Rosé is unpretentious and inexpensive and that’s ok. With the most expensive bottles being $25-$30, there is no room to be the wine snob here. Which is just as refreshing as the wine since nobody likes a wine snob.
5. Treat it like a white and chill well but pair it as if it is a white or a red. Pair it with anything from a light summer salad to a hearty western barbeque or with beach food like potato chips or ice cream.
6. It is perfect for making cocktails. Being so inexpensive, rosé has generated a plethora of new recipe ideas like these (http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/rock-instagram-4-amazing-rose-wine-cocktails/) from VinePair.com and these (http://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/drinks/a6239/rose-wine-cocktails/) from Town & Country.
Instagram has helped the word spread exponentially with the instagrammable beauty of it and the infamously #instafamous bottle of White Girl rosé. A sought after bottle created in collaboration between The Fat Jew and Babe Walker that the wine buyer declared as “the biggest thing to happen to wine since grapes.” *insert eye-roll from die-hard wine enthusiasts. One thing is true, it is very in demand, nearly causing meltdown in the Hamptons last summer when demand outpaced production.
With temperatures still pushing the mercury, we have a few weeks left to indulge in the precious #summerwater and #instagram away with these (http://www.thefashionspot.com/life/705975-best-rose-wine/#/slide/1) fresh recommendations. Enjoy it ice-cold, straight from the bottle or make your cocktails, but whatever you do, don’t forget to photograph it. Because regardless of what you think about this category of wine, you cannot deny it’s beauty. #roséalltheway
Have ideas you’d like to add to the list? Need more suggestions? Let me know!
Julie Koester is CEO of Life with Moxie, a Lifestyle Revolution Company www.lifewithmoxie.com and Host of Life with Moxie Radio, Saturday’s at 1pm on 98.9 WGUF in Southwest Florida. You can reach her at Julie@lifewithmoxie.com
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