There’s simply no denying it – we’re in the midst of a revolution. A rosé revolution! Rosé, rosato, rosado, rosévin, roséwein, różowe wino… no matter what you call it, you’re bound to have noticed the vast array of pink wine taking over the world.
For the most part, rosé hails from France. Or, more specifically, from Provence. They take it very seriously there, and some of the world’s finest rosés come from this region. It’s no wonder it’s often called the rosé capital of the world.
Closer to home, rosé really is having a revolution. For a drink that was once seen as lesser because it was mass produced and imported from places like Portugal and France, the rise of rosé wine truly is spectacular. Sales continue to rise as wine lovers around the country become more and more familiar with the prettiest wine around. There are even entire wine bars and whole festivals dedicated to the pink drop!
Walk down the rosé aisle in any bottle shop or wine store and you’ll see a veritable rainbow of different shades of pink – from vibrant, almost neon hot pinks to pastel, barely blushed hues, and everything in between. And then comes the taste. You can expect sweet, savoury, dry, textural, punchy, smooth, light, creamy, heavy – you name it!
Rosé is one of the only wines that is judged on what it looks like, rather than where or how it’s made. But what can rosé tell us before we crack open a bottle?
In Australia, grenache is one of the most popular varieties to make rosé from. But other varieties like tempranillo, shiraz, nebbiolo, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir also make delicious pinks. Top Aussie regions for producing rosé are Margaret River, Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley and the Barossa.
Just like when they produce red wines, each of these grapes & regions give unique characteristics to their rosé wines. For example, grenache often makes fruitier, more full-bodied rosé, whereas pinot noir produces soft, spicy pinks and sangiovese makes a drier style. And then you add the regional characteristics and individual winemaking techniques into the mix… and you’ll quickly realise there are no hard and fast rules about Aussie rosé!
The great thing about rosé is that it can be drunk all year round. But it is really in its prime in the warmer months. There’s nothing more magical than a summer picnic or BBQ with friends, delicious food and a glass of gorgeous pink in your hand. Right?
It’s such a versatile drink, and because it can be made in so many different styles it tends to be a great food wine. If you’re sipping a lighter, drier Provence-style pink, definitely go for some Mediterranean flavours in your food. If you’re enjoying a sweeter, fruitier style rosé, you can’t go wrong with some homemade pasta or pizza. If bubbly pink is on the menu, whip up a gourmet cheese & charcuterie board and you’ll be set.
Unfortunately, rosé’s spectacular rise in popularity also means that there’s a lot of mass-produced, low quality stuff on the market now – which is what put drinkers off rosé in the first place!
Julian Langworthy, winemaker aficionado and winemaker at Deep Woods Estate in Margaret River, agrees. “Five years ago, rosé was purple and sweet, and now it has swung to the other side and is the palest colour, nothing more than over-fined and insipid. It really [annoys] me. Rosé is not an excuse for alcoholic pink water. It deserves respect,” he says. “What I like about good rosé is its drinkability; its smash-ability. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Lucky for you, we can help you wade through the seas of pink to find the good stuff.
As a general rule, don’t buy the cheap as chips bottles. If it looks watery, don’t buy it. Keep an eye on the label, too – look for regions and grape varieties we’ve mentioned above. Any labels that seem vague about either of those things should be a red (or pink!) flag.