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Shamli Ghosh
Shamli Ghosh
The author is a well-known food and wine columnist. She has traveled extensively to explore various wine regions across the globe and is an ardent proponent of old world wine.

Think Pink, Think Rosé

17 - aug - 13

Picture a colourful summer afternoon in the South of France, a wonderful Mediterranean cuisine, and the only drink that comes to mind is a glass of fresh, fruit flavoured, crisp Rosé wine. Interestingly, the popularity of Rosé wines in recent times has moved beyond just a summer drink. It is increasingly becoming an all purpose drink appealing to a mixed bunch of people.

The latest Vinexpo report also seems to suggest the same when it says, “With new consumers and new occasions to enjoy wine, Rosé has become sought after in the last few years.”

France, No. 1 producer of Rosé

Although, there has been a decrease in wine consumption in France, it is observed that consumption of Rosé wine has increased by 12% between 2007 and 2011 reaching a total of 73.9 million 9-litre cases, according to a VINEXPO –The IWSR study of the wine and spirits market. This upward trend is expected to last with a forecast of a further 3.5% growth by 2016. Rosé today is French drinkers’ second choice, accounting for 27% of all wine consumed in France, after red wine, which accounts for 57% and ahead of white wines, which represent 16% of the nation’s total wine consumption.

France remains the leading producer of Rosé, its largest contributor being Rosé de Provence, the French region that produces the most Rosé wines.

The world loves Rosé

According to sources, the overall consumption of Rosé wines worldwide is expected to grow by 7.5% by 2016. US continues to be the biggest contributor to this growth where annual Rosé consumption hit 47.7 million cases second only to Germany which was up by 2.19% between 2007-2011.

What does this new found love for Rosé mean?  

As the winemaker Alain Combard rightly explains, “A good Rosé is fruity but with some depth. It’s a wine where once you have a glass you say to yourself ‘why not another?’ It’s a wine that gives great pleasure.” Rosé wines have always been in the preference list of women because of the distinctive colour, style and appeal.

However, over the years, wineries across the globe have started getting involved in revolutionalising the Rosé drinking culture. One such example is of the Australian wine company De Bortoli which ran the 3rd edition of its “Rosé Revolution” campaign in 2012 asking wineries to join and celebrate dry and textural Rosé wine. This edition of the campaign that began in November last year was launched with nation-wide consumer tastings and Rosé soirees that continued till the summer of 2013. A part of the same event was the “Real Men Drink Pink” Campaign, where more and more men were encouraged to drink pink.   

From Sweet to Dry

Gone are the days when Rosé was perceived as a sweet pink drink. The wine has evolved over the years. It has moved beyond being just a by-product of red wine. The Rosé from Provence, France is so popular that the French drink more Rosé than white wine. Even red wine drinkers prefer the lighter version, Rosé. The taste profile varies from- dry and crisp to off-dry, that suits everyone’s palate. The wine’s popularity is also attributed to better production techniques. Rosé is not just made from grapes like Zinfandel or Pinot Noir now, it is also made from blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah and other red varietals. These days, the popular style seems to be primary press Rosé wines with cold maceration that allows longer skin contact while extracting less colour. This results in a more complex wine with skin tannins that give structure while leaving a beautiful salmon colour

Drinking Rosé wine with Food

Though Rosé can be drunk just as a refreshing drink before beginning any meal or during a party, it goes perfectly with food when paired well. A well structured Rosé supports good hearty dishes like seafood, shellfish, barbeque, duck etc. As Fiona Beckett, the food and wine matcher explains, various styles of Rosé call for variety of pairings. For example, light and dry Rosés, go well with salads, light pastas, and rice dishes. Whereas light off-dry ones, also go well with mildly spiced curries besides the dishes mentioned earlier. Medium dry Rosés like Zinfandel go with spicy food as well as can be served as dessert wine. The full bodied fruity Rosés made from grapes like Syrah, and Cabernet Rosé from new world countries like Chile, Australia, California go well with any contemporary food, spicy curries as well as barbeque. The sparkling Rosés like cava and the ones from Australia and New Zealand are well served with cakes and tarts; whereas Rosé Champagne, depending on its style (light or full-bodied) can be paired with grilled lobsters, roast rare lambs etc.

Rosé in India  

Given the age old notion of an Indian’s preference towards everything sweet, India fits in to the profile of true Rosé wine drinkers. According to a recently released data, in India, wine consumption among women has increased by 28.7% in the last 5 years as compared to 17.3% surge in demand from males. Keeping that in mind, many importers have introduced Rosé still and sparkling wines from various countries like South of France, California, Australia and South Africa. Even the local wine producers are not far behind. Sula Vineyards, the market leader in India in 2007 introduced its mild-sparkling white wine range known as, ‘Dia’ to tap the women drinkers. In 2012, the company also introduced ‘Dia Red’, which is somewhere between a Rosé and a red wine. Sula also has a Sparkling Brut Rosé in the portfolio in a premium range which is quite popular in the market. But the most successful one by far has been the Zampa Brut Rosé from Zampa Grover’s portfolio, which is a dry, delightful pink wine that represents great style and quality as well as value for money. Even the boutique wine company Vallone Vineyards has a Rosé wine in its portfolio.

Rosé wines undoubtedly have a bright future ahead, especially in many Asian markets, like Japan, China and India who present the palate and the pocket suitable enough to further accelerate the Rosé Revolution. 

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