What is rose wine ?

A common phrase most of us have heard is, rose isn´t real wine. Nevertheless, a lot of people pronouncing this question like to slurp rose wine with a couple of ice cubes. With the schizophrenic rose colour conservative wine enthousiats dont´t take it very seriously. They compare it with lemonande due to it`s aroma.

Commercially speaking it`s a jackpot. Starting in the 80ies and especially in the early 2010s the growth of rose wine is becoming unstoppable. In the last 10 years rose exports from Provence rise from 6 % to 45 % of all wines sold.

Hated by traditional consumption codes it`s using disruptive marketing. This appeals especially young consumers with its colour and style who like to drink a glass of wine outside a meal. Rose is fulfilling the expectations of the generations Y to Z on their quest for simplicity. At the same time some roses reach price levels comparable to their Bordeaux counterparts

Rose wine pairing

Mostly good friends and sunshine – Rose, it`s summer all year long! – More than to the seasons it links to sunshine, holidays and terrasses filled with friends drinking an aperitif. It`s always nice somewhere !  

Referring to food rose is very versatile. Due to the different strawberry, raspberry, citrus fruit and salty notes you can taste. It`s a good companion to start your meal as an aperitif drink combined with light cheese, ham, coppa, charcuterie board or sea food tapas.

It pairs well with fish dishes, and grilled white meat and lamb. Rose wines which are very acidic are a good match with spicy food.

Should rose wine be chilled?

Chilling emphasizes the structure of the wine. The impression of acidity increases as well as the slimness of the wine because aroma and alcohol become less present. The ideal drinking temperature for rose wines is between 8-10 °C. This is surely valid for the standard rose but more complex wines may require different temperatures to enjoy their full potential

Enjoy rose while it`s young! Most roses except for the prestige wines should be consumed in the year it`s bottled. You can store roses 1-3 years but should not wait too long. The main characteristics of rose, acidity and fruitiness change during the storage period to give a different aroma.  

How to make rose wine?

The majority of roses are light coloured „assemblages“ of grenache, syrah, cinsault, mourvedre, pinot noir, zinfandel and others depending on the region the wines are produced in. 20th century winemaking technologies like low temperature maceration allow to produce dry rose wines with lower alcohol content and new fruity aroma dressing the wine in a spectacular rose coloured gown.

Historically the majority of wines consumed in France in the 18th century are rose wines which are called „clarets“. The harvested grapes are either churned or pressed to extract the grape juice. Maceration in oak barrels which allows the nectar to acquire its red colour is not very common as it needs more complex installations. It`s unknown how to make high quality red wine until the start of the „new french claret“ by Mr Pontac at Haut-Brion (Bordeaux) in 1663. With the help of new techniques like sulfurization of oak barrels, decanting or ageing in new barrels the colour rose disappears in most of France except for the Provence.

Whispering Angel rose

In the 90ies and early naughties (2000ies) rose is known as a low price summer wine. In 2005 Sacha Lichine sells his chateau in Bordeaux (Prieure Lichine) and invests heavily in the Var region in the chateau D`Esclans. Together with Patrick Leon (formerly at Mouton Rothschild) they develop a cuvee called “Whispering Angel” which becomes a world wide success. Priced at around 25 USD it`s the start of a group of luxury rose wines. 

The breach opened by the duo Lichine / Leon is rapidly used by other high quality rose wineries like Ott, Minuty, Commanderie de Peyrassol, Sainte-Roseline, Miraval (wine domain of Brad Pit) or le Clos du Temple by Gerard Bertrand who`s offering a Languedoc rose at 200 USD. It`s a bet on luxury items. Rose wine is becoming more successful as it enters a market segment build up by Champagne brands like Dom Perignon, Ruinart, Veuve Cliquot and others.

Swish Beverages is using the hip side of rose marketing White Girl Rose. Joshua Ostrovsky aka The Fat Jew, an Instagram influencer with more than 10 million followers starts the idea in 2015. White Girl Rose is a blend of sauvignon blanc and zinfandel therefore being of completely different origin than the classic rose wines. Here the main focus is to be a hip accessoire rather than a drink.

Best rose wine

If you favour prestige wines rose from wineries like Ott, Chateau d`Esclans (Whispering Angel), Chateau Minuty or Chateau Miravel are a perfect choice.

In case you`re lucky enough to live in a region with a broad choice of rose wines in summer you`ll find a nice rose at a lower price but you need to be open to discover new wines. Roses which we like particularly: 

Christina Day
Follow us
Latest posts by Christina Day (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.