With the arrival of the sun, the rosé wine season begins. Fresh, thirst-quenching, aromatic, rosé wines have become part of our consumption habits in recent years. Let's come back to the particularities of this beverage and the factors that make it a trendy wine.
With an arrogant increase of 28% in 15 years, the consumption of rosé wines in the world is exploding. Provence is the leading region producing rosé wines with an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée in France and supplies about 8% of the world's wines (source: Ministry of Agriculture). It has imposed its style: pale, dry, fresh and acidulous, the profile of rosé wines has won over consumers all over the world. As a result of this exceptional dynamic: the turnover of Provence wines has multiplied by 14 in 10 years. But, the other side of the coin, for the past 3 years world production has not covered consumption. This phenomenon prompted the national media to ask themselves, in 2018, whether the French would run out of rosés during the summer.
At the origin of this dynamic, a great diversity in rosé wines produced in France, positioning itself on the entry, middle and top of the range. Rosés that offer lightness and small degrees, perfectly adapted to summer aperitifs, to more sustained, structured and powerful rosé wines that can be enjoyed with meals, adapted to gastronomy and even to ageing.
Generation Y, known as the millennials, would be no stranger to the rosé wine boom. This generation, which gradually overturns all codes, attaches itself to rosé because it is an uncoded wine that leaves room for innovation. This 18-35 age group will become the driving force behind the rosé wine economy worldwide and rosé producers are already studying their consumption behaviour to adapt their offer to this new market.
No, a rosé wine is not a mixture of red and white wine. This operation is even formally prohibited in France, with the exception of the Champagne appellation. There are 2 techniques for making rosé wines: pressing rosés or bleeding rosés.
To make a rosé wine, it is necessary to work with red grapes because it is the coloured pigments present in the skin of the grape that will tint the grape juice and produce the rosé colour. The maceration time between the skin and the pulp will therefore give the grapes their colour: the pale rosés benefited from a short maceration time, the more intense ones macerated for longer. The pressing rosés are the lightest rosé wines. This technique consists of pressing the grapes quickly after a short maceration to obtain a slightly coloured juice. Bleeding rosé wines are more sustained because they are extracted from a red wine vat, after the first few hours of maceration, and are isolated in another vat in order to continue the fermentation without the skins.
Every region, every winegrower, every estate has a favourite technique, and good rosé wines are present everywhere. It's up to you to fill your taste buds and discover the great rosé wines for the summer of 2019.
Manon Mouly for Les Grappes