You may have noticed there’s a lot of “pink” wine adorning tables in everything from neighborhood bistros to high-end fine-dining restaurants these days.
It wasn’t that way ten years ago, and the last time we saw so much pink in glasses, the wine was called “white” Zinfandel.
Today, most of the pink wine we’re seeing when people dine out is some form of rosé, a style made by limiting the amount of time crushed grape juice spends resting with the skins of the grapes. Basically, the less time the juice spends with the skins, the lighter the color of the finished wine.
Now let’s be clear about something: The sweet wine known as “White Zinfandel” was wildly popular for a long time, and still has millions of devoted fans. But it never caught on with those who prefer drier wines, and it is those people who now are embracing dry and off-dry rosés in record numbers.
Why is this so? How did rosé-style wines become all the rage, with sales surging 17% from 2015 to 2016 alone? I think there are five main reasons…
- America’s celebrity culture.
Rosé was just beginning to catch on when Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) began marketing their Chateau Miraval Rosé. The fact that the project was overseen by them, came from Provence and also happened to be pretty good made it irresistible to their fans.
Francis Ford Coppola already had been making a rosé named for his daughter, Sofia, and other celebs that have joined the rosé-making brigade, include Drew Barrymore and Pamela Anderson.
- It pairs beautifully with food.
Red meat. Check. White meat. Check. Chicken. Check. Fish. Check. Barbecued fare. Check. Spicy food. Check. Seriously, it’s challenging to think of a dish or type of cuisine with which rosé does not pair well. It’s also delicious all by itself.
- Americans are eating healthier.
With chicken, lighter salads and treats from the sea now becoming more common in the American diet, rosé has found a home on wine racks of those who have become more health conscious.
- We’ll always have Provence.
Although not all great rosés come from southern France, the Provence region is recognized as the world capital of rosé production. Exports of rosé from Provence to the United States have been increasing by double digits for years.
- It’s pretty.
I like to think that all wine looks beautiful in a glass, whether it’s golden, various shades of red and purple, or even somewhat brown, like a well-aged sherry. But when it comes to pretty, nothing beats pink. What other hue has evoked hashtags such as #roseallday or #yeswayrose?