All rosé is sweet; rosé is cheap: it doesn’t pair with anything; rosé is only for women, or summer, or women in summer… The list of prejudices goes on. So in honour of International Rosé Day, we’re debunking the most common myths about rosé wine.
It’s a New Trend
Rosé production goes back millennia.
Ancient Greek wine would have been much closer in appearance to today’s rosé wines than red, as modern maceration techniques which produce darker, more tannic red wines, weren’t widely practised in ancient winemaking.
In both ancient Greece and Rome, white and red grapes were often crushed together, by foot, and the contact of the juice with red grape skins resulted in wine which was some shade of red. However, since the rules of classical civilisation stipulated that all wine had to be diluted with water – only barbarians drank it straight – the resulting wine would have ended up a shade of pink.
It’s Red and White Wine Mixed Together
The simple mixing of red wine and white wine to produce a pink colour is both uncommon and discouraged in the majority of wine-growing regions. This is actually forbidden by law in France, with the exception of Champagne.
While in ancient times all the grapes were mixed together, nowadays rosé is produced a little differently.
The saignée method: After red grapes have been pressed, some of the juice is bled off, leaving a lightly tinted wine.
Skin contact/Maceration: The juice from red grapes, their skins and the pulp is all mulched together for a short time (usually just a few hours) so that some of the flavour and colour from the solid matter seeps into the wine.
Rosé Wine is Cheap
While rosé can be cheap, there are plenty of premium rosés covering all price points. In Provence, Sacha Lichine set out to craft a world-class brand that produces the world’s best rosé and he succeeded. Every year he sells millions of bottles of Whispering Angel, retailing at about £20 each. That’s the budget option. His other bottles like Château d’Esclans Garrus cost upwards of £100 per bottle.
The Paler, the Better
Colour isn’t an indicator of quality. The myth probably arose because Provence rosés are instantly recognisable for their very pale, even orange-tinted pink. Because Provençal rosés are synonymous with quality, wine drinkers assume any good rosé must be pale. In fact, excellent wine can come in a range of hues ranging from pale salmon to deep pink.
All Rosé is Sweet
Definitely not! While it used to have a reputation for being sickly sweet, due in part to the popularity of sweet wines like Mateus Rosé and Blossom Hill Zinfandel Blush in the 1970s and 80s, not all rosé is the same. Many of the best, especially those from Provence, are famed for their characteristic dry and light taste. But it’s not just French wines that are dry, Spain also produces some excellent dry and aromatic rosés, like Chivite’s Las Fincas Rosado.
Rosé is a Summer Drink
While traditionally considered a summer drink, it’s increasingly consumed year-round, especially by younger and more adventurous consumers. No doubt this is in part due to the drink’s feminine and glamorous aesthetic – perfect for sharing on social media.
It’s Only for Apéritifs
Rosé can be paired with a wide variety of food, including seafood, salads, and cheese – the perfect accompaniment to a light meal or afternoon picnic with friends. Why not check out our unbeatable wine pairings or recipe for salmon and avocado tartare?
It’s Only for Women
Where do we start with this one? Good rosé is for people who like good wine. If you’re of legal drinking age and like a good wine, it’s for you.
It’s Only Made in The South of France
Although France produces and consumes more rosé wine than any other country in the world and Provence is the world’s benchmark for quality rosé, these days it’s made almost everywhere. South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina – they all have their fair share of outstanding pink wines.
It’s Less Complicated than Red or White Wine
Far from being the easy option, the owner of Château d’Esclans, Sacha Lichine, claims rosé is “the most difficult colour I’ve ever had to make good”.
We hope you’ve enjoyed debunking these myths and now we’ll leave you with some of our best wine recommendations:
Beautiful deep cherry red South Australian rosé that will enchant you with its aromas of rose petals and intriguing Turkish delight flavours