Wine Education: The Rise (and Continued Rise) of Rosé
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a wine drinker in possession of a good palette must be in want of a vintage Domaine de la Romanee-Contil Grand Chu. What is much clearer to most wine drinkers is that wine royalty may be just beyond our mortal fingertips. To taste the stars is an admirable goal, but it's a mistake to look only to the oldest and most traditional wines to achieve it.
While hosting an event with bottles of rosé used to be considered shameful, a curious evolution has swept across modern wine culture. Take a summer stroll to any local supermarket (or visit your favorite wine site) and an innocuous pink liquid might just claim large swaths of the inventory. Yes, ever the winery wunderkind of social media, rosé seems to take the limelight most during summer season. But popularity can be surprisingly lonely. Why are so many embarrassed to be seen drinking rosé in public, but privately delighted by slogans of yes way, rosé and rosé all day?
The truth is, rosé has undergone an arduous journey to earn this social media craze, and its journey to the top of charts everywhere continues despite some misconceptions. It is common to hear gasps if one declares their preference for the pink-tinged drink. Protests of, "Oh, rosé is much too sweet for me," and "It's just a red and a white wine mixed together," abound. Now, you can calmly reply, "Not so fast, friend!" Here are some facts about rosé:
- Not a one-hit wonder. The lightness in color and rosé's place atop numerous Instagram profiles can paint it as not a real wine -- just a fad; trendy; unserious. But rosé is deceptively versatile. From sweet zinfandels to the driest Provençal, rosé has a rich and complex range. So, the next time you're in the mood for a "real wine", don't pass on the rosé.
- Not just for women. While this misconception has deeper roots that are admittedly outside the scope of this article, it must be addressed. Put bluntly, wine doesn't care about gender. It may be easy to find examples of women enjoying rosé the world over, but this should not and could not mean that only women drink the stuff. In fact, bro rosé or brosé has been around for years now. Knowing this, gentlemen may be reassured that it is just fine to join in on this wine trend.
- Not just for hipsters. Let's be clear, Millennial wine drinkers are often most accused of acquiescing to rosé obsession. But let's be clearer, people have been enjoying rosé since the heyday of ancient Greece. Our ancestors may not have had the luxury of letting their followers on Twitter know they were throwing back a glass of rosé, but it was still likely that the drink was renown regardless. Rosé worked hard to get to where it is today, and that journey likely meant many seafaring trade adventures from ancient Greece to modern France and on to the rest of the world. Rosé is truly an industry veteran.
While misconceptions about rosé are tirelessly long, just a little bit of Wine Education can reassure anyone that the drink they're enjoying isn't special just because it's famous on the internet. It's just special.
- Adam Linet