Who drinks Rosé wines? Women & smart men!

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A winemaker was recently asked who was drinking rosé and he replied “mostly women and smart men.”

 

As the curtain closed on Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralymic Games, Canada’s largest wine festival, the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival opened up last month, with the emphasis on wines from New Zealand and Argentina as well as shining the spotlight on rosé wines.  There were 45+ wines from different countries, with varying styles showing a kaleidoscope of colour from copper to cranberry. As that could make yet another wine wheel, the genre was indicative enough to show that rosé is more than wines that are “just pink with tastes of strawberries” (my reaction to this overused comment: argg!).

 

Although rosé has long been associated with being born in the south of France and made largely from Grenache grapes, in the past year rosé it was reported that consumption in France has increased by 22%. Currently, every wine producing country now produces their own version. For every red grape varietal, a rosé is being made. I was amazed by the quantity and quality of many rosé’s at the Festival. Winemakers from Germany, Argentina, Spain, France, Canada, New Zealand, the U.S.A, Chile and Australia spoke of and promoted their respective rosés from how it was made, to the body of the wine and even to the time of day to drink it! 

 

When winemakers were asked when to serve their rosé, responses varied from breakfast to fore-noon, to afternoon to late evening; concluding that rosé was an any time of day refreshment and not just for the summer barbeque or picnic. Most agreed that rosé should be served just below room temperature as opposed to the boney cold which many, including myself are guilty.

 

On the pairing side with food, rosé frequently mates with the uninventive salmon along with an assortment of other seafoods that tend to put the mind in neutral, (depending of course on preparation). However, I experienced brilliant innovative pairings such as shredded lamb over polenta, and an orzo pasta with beets and greens, topped with a pink cotton candy – Executive Chef & Sommelier Tony Lawrence deserves kudos for this innovation – that complimented a myriad of dark cranberry coloured rosé’s especially those made from the Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz grapes.

  

This year more noticeably than others, all you have to do is walk into the LCBO to be overwhelmed with the variety of rosé wines. Although being a rosé lover, I have no need of a sales pitch to try yet another delicious dry rosé wine. But to say that rosé has now found its way into the international genre of the serious wine world is an understatement. We can no longer assume that if it’s cranberry or pink, that it is sweet and without the complexity of a full bodied wine. 

 

The time has come for us to stop looking suspiciously at these vibrant, fresh coloured wines since it is obvious we can no longer judge a rosé by its cover and that’s not looking at the subject through rosey rim glasses. 

 

Some Rosé wines that I recommend to try this summer:

de Venoge Brut Pink Champagne

M. Chapoutier Tavel 2008

Bastianich Rosato 2008

 

Santé,  Cheers,  Cin cin, Salute !

Julie Stock

Accredited Sommelier & newest member of the Savvy Team

 

You are invited!

Join Julie & the Savvy Team of Sommeliers at Clink & Drink Pink – a Rosé wine tasting on Wednesday July 14th. Click for more details about this fun wine & food event

We look forward to having you join us!

 

 

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