Rosé ... The Summer Wine!
Rosé, which used to be one of the most unfashionable wines on the Australian market, is now moving forward in popularity in leaps and bounds. This week, I would like to chat to you about the wonderful world of Rosé. What it is, where it has come from and the amazing wines we are now seeing on our shelves.
Rosé is the fastest growing wine category in Australia at the moment, growing at a rate of approximately 200% a year. And the Sunshine Coast is right behind this push with the postcodes of 4551 and 4556 being the second and third highest volume postcodes in Australia for Rosé consumption.
The biggest question is why?
Well, it’s pretty simple really. Not only is Rosé super delicious, but it suits our warm climate, goes with almost any food and there is a style out there to suit every palate.
Once upon a time, Rosé in Australia was a very sweet, one dimensional wine that was an after-thought of the winemaking industry. Now, almost every winery in the country is fighting to produce the newest most sophisticated Rosé wine. Why? If you look at the rise in popularity of Rosé in Europe, you will get your answer.
Provence Rosé has had a significant rise to popularity over the past 10 years mostly due to the palates of the UK changing from sweet to dry. This rise in popularity there sparked a chain reaction down under. Once Aussies who went on holidays in Europe tried these wines, they started to ask for it back home. Winemakers who saw this rise also jumped on the band wagon and started to make Rosés in a style that replicated southern France. Now there are hundreds of amazing Rosés being made here in Australia. Every time you look there is a new Rosé launching on the market and this is great news for us consumers.
What actually is Rosé?
It’s not really a red wine and it’s not really a white wine ... it's sort of in between. All wine, if crushed and the juice is separated from its skin, is actually white. You just have to look at champagne which is made using Pinot Noir and Pinot Munier, both red grapes with chardonnay. So to get red wine, you have to gently crush the grapes allowing the juice and the skins to stay together then you leave it for a certain period of time depending on how much colour the winemaker wants. With most red wine, you’re talking 3-4 weeks or sometimes longer. For Rosé you do the same, but obviously for a shorter period of 1-2 days, depending on how much colour is required.
Making Rosé in the category of red, right?
Well maybe not. Part 2 of the story of making Rosé is very much white in style. Once the juice is separated from its skins, the wine is made the same way a white would be made. It would be fermented and fined and thrown in a bottle. Most white wines are left with their natural acid style making them crunchy and refreshing, like Rosé is. Whereas most reds are allowed to go through an acid changing ferment making them more soft.
Rosés are made from almost all the red grape varietals you can think of and as they rise in popularity, the rarer the grape varietals you will find. Not only are there traditional Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet and Shiraz Rosés, but now it’s easy to find a Sangiovese, Nero de Avola, Tempranillo, Grenache or Cinsaut Rosé and the list goes on.
The best part about Rosé is not only its diversity in style, but also its amazing ability to match most foods and situations. So, whether you are down the beach having some fish and chips or if you are at a mate’s place throwing a few steaks on the BBQ, Rosé can fit into any situation. Most importantly, it’s fantastic on its own, being super juicy and refreshing.
Picking the right Rosé