Only a few years ago, few would consider buying rose wines. At the time, their predecessors had given wine drinkers a bad impression of sweet and cloying alcoholic drinks.
Now, there has been more than a change in the “weather”. While previously roses were treated as second class “citizens” or worst typecast as cloyingly sweet, they have now emerged as the first option for wine lovers in search of summer refreshments.
An impressive range of roses grace the shelves of thousands of specialized stores in wine drinking countries. They are eminently suitable for informal gatherings, lunches, picnics and impromptu dinners with friends and family.
Now there is also a growing, and much appreciated selection of character-filled sparkling roses that tickle the taste buds.
Rose wines range from very pale, almost colourless, to close to pale red and every shade in between.
All well – balanced, flavourful roses evoke sunshine and wind.
In northern countries, the cool climate serves as a good uplift of acidity and succulence.
In Provence, where the sun shines almost all the time and “casual” is in, people enjoy rose at any time of the day and with al fresco meals in restaurant terraces.
A little further north, there are many noteworthy roses in Cotes du Rhone i .e Tavel, and Lirac.
Languedoc, west of Provence on the Mediterranean coast, also produces fine roses that can be enjoyed as aperitifs, with light meals, fish stews, and just for the sheer pleasure of it.
Northern Italy is famous for its, as is Rioja in Spain, Portugal, California. Ontario roses are now becoming quite sophisticated and refined from small wineries.
Surprisingly South America, and Australia and South Africa do not produce many rose wines. At least we do not have get many maybe because of the long distance between them and North America.
In Ontario Featherstone, Fielding, 13th Street, Casa-Dea, Southbrook, and Ravine Vineyard are well known for their roses.
In France La Vieille Ferme, Tavel (several producers), Lirac, enjoy popularity.
The brand Whispering Angel, 2012, caves d’Eclans, Provence is now available at Vintages and is highly recommended.
Of late rose champagnes have become all the rage. Laurent Perrier’s rose champagne is the best selling and most appreciated brand.
Italy offers a fine selection of roses from Veneto.
In Rioja, Marques de Riscal and Muga are well notes for their roses.
In Portugal, Gazela and Diva from Dao are popular.
Garanacha aka grenache, is responsible for fruity, fruit-forward roses.
They should be moderately chilled but not ice cold and enjoyed within a year of harvest to appreciate their freshness and fruitiness.