In all but a handful of regions, rosé has traditionally been a winemaker’s afterthought. Red blended with surplus white, add plenty of sugar and there you have it. Sweet and pink. Served chilled on a hot day. Can’t go wrong.
In fact, Mateus – the Portuguese rosé brand that was huge in the 1960s and 70s – sold more than three million cases a year by appealing to the sweet tooth in all of us. Produced more like an RTD with a touch of effervescence, the residual sugar levels were so high they would have The Diabetes Foundation hyperventilating today. Despite this almost cult-like success in the 70s, rosé as a category didn’t really kick off on the global market until the late 1990s when it enjoyed somewhat of a revival, led chiefly by the availability of sweet, lower quality rosés – in particular over-cropped white zinfandel from warm regions of California.
There was, however, one anomaly – the beacon of hope throughout the ages – Provence, France. This region has a long tradition of rosé-making that is now inspiring the rest of the world to catch up. Altogether, Provence accounts for six percent of the planet’s total rosé wine production. And – thank the Lord – it is serious rosé.… Read more >