Separating fact from fiction
Rosé has grown in popularity over the past decade with a real resurgence being noticed over the past two or three years. Hard To Find Wines has definitely seen a marked increase in sales of rosé this past year. Rosé however, often remains a bit of a mystery to those observing this phenomenon from the sidelines, whilst enjoying the more established red or white wines.
Here are ten rosé myth busters to help you explain the truth around rosé to your friends who may look at you oddly when you bring a bottle to their dinner party.
Number one - Rosé is a women’s drink
FALSE: whilst rosé has in the past been seen as a girly drink, it has taken a wide swing away from that in a fresh trend in recent years where it is now seen as a drink that men can enjoy too. Some brands in the USA are now marketing directly to men and celebrities such as Jay-Z and Justin Bieber are getting onboard the brosé (rosé for bros) movement.
Number two - Rosé is a summer wine
FALSE: due to its association with white wine, rosé has typically been regarded as a drink only for summertime. However, as food and wine pairing becomes more popular amongst consumers, rosé is now featuring on menus and in homes all year round.
Number three - Rosé is a sweet wine
FALSE: in Europe, rosé has traditionally been a dry wine, however in the USA where white zinfandel or blush wines have for decades been very popular, consumers have confused rosé with blush wine. As the tastes of wine drinkers in the USA has evolved, the consumer trend over the past decade has been away from sweet blush and towards dry rosé.
Number four - Rosé is merely an easy drinking wine
FALSE: that box rosé is a thing of the past! Well, of course you can still get a box of rosé at the supermarket, but that is in all likelihood a sweeter, lower quality wine. Today, there are a variety of styles of rosé on the market that would show rosé as a much more complex wine. As Elizabeth Gabay MW sets out in the Drinks Business’ article “A Rosé Revolution: The Five Styles of Pink Wine”, on 22 February 2017, there are at least five emerging styles of rosé: rosés with invisible oak, overt oak, a light red-wine style, traditional rosés and modern rosés in a traditional style. You can read more of her article, shared on our Facebook page.
Number five - Rosé is watered down red wine
FALSE: Just to be clear, rosé is not watered down red wine. There are three ways of creating a rosé: maceration, saignée or blending. Blending a red and white wine to create rosé is not a popular method, although this is considered a legitimate way of producing rosé Champagne, but only in Champagne. Anywhere else in France, this blending method is illegal. The saignée method involves “bleeding” off some red wine before the colour becomes too dark, almost an afterthought to produce rosé. The best rosés are made with specific grapes that are used for the purpose of creating rosé. Dark-skinned grapes are crushed or macerated, so the juice has contact with the skins over a period of up to three days, producing the lighter hue. Not only does it influence the colour of the wine, but this method ensures an acidity to the wine as well as a fruitiness and ultimately a much more refreshing rosé.
Number six - Rosé is difficult to pair with food
FALSE: rosé today is very versatile and more complex. It combines the acidity of white wine with the fruitiness of red wine. Rosé is perfect to combine with a wide variety of foods, from fish and shellfish to pastas, salads, chicken and steak. If in doubt, a rosé is an excellent choice for pairing.
Number seven - Rosé is a relative newcomer to the wine world
FALSE: wine originally produced mostly resembled the rosé of today. Methods for extracting colour were limited when winemakers crushed grapes by hand, or by foot or through other ancient techniques of pressing, none of which gave the wine enough time to develop the deeper reds of today.
Number eight - Rosé is best consumed immediately
FALSE: rosé can be enjoyed up to two years after release. There are exceptions to this however, such as Spain’s Lopez de Heredia which has a Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva 2000 available.
Number nine - Rosé has a lower alcohol level
FALSE: well, some do, mainly the sweeter rosés due to a shorter period of fermentation. There is a trend nowadays however towards wine with a lower alcohol content, due to changes in health trends. Rosé however does not need to conform to this unless the winemaker has decided to go down this route, and a dry rosé can have just as much alcohol content as a red or white wine.
Number ten - Rosé is only cheap wine
FALSE: well, of course there are cheap rosés out there. But there are also a lot of expensive, quality wines and even quality wines that are good value for money. The key is to make sure you purchase wine from a good producer.
Hopefully these myth busters have cleared up some mistaken beliefs about rosé and will help you take that bottle of rosé to the next dinner party with confidence.
Hard To Find Wines is available to offer advice on choosing a good quality rosé. Call us on 01746 389 749 and we can make sure you order the right wine for your needs. Or head over to our rosé wines on our website to see the variety on offer, including our special offers.