Wine & spirits: Revival of rose
Who said pink wines must be reserved for summer? Whoever you are, know this: we’ve stopped listening. Wine aficionados all over the world are rejecting a number of old notions about rosés. The result? Growing sales, and wines showing up in restaurants and wine shops.
In France, roses have overtaken whites in sales. Pink wines traditionally have been looked upon by French wine snobs as merely good enough to accompany bad lunches at the beach. But young drinkers are eschewing the complexities of learning all the different grapes, regions and special producers of the world. While young consumers still drink reds with meals, rosés are enjoyed as aperitifs or at anytime.
Across the channel, blush wines from California alone now make up 5% of the entire British wine market. Once considered the official beverage of summer picnics, parties and barbecues, rose has become a popular yearround drink in Britain and beyond.
Selection in Canada has grown steadily over the past few summers. Watch for more year-round listings as liquor retailers respond to changing markets and tastes.
Roses don't age very well, as they lack all the required tannins that preserve red wine. So buy the youngest ones available and only stock up for a few months at a time
There's a pink wine for every occasion and for every drinker.
A sense of class
Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Brut Rosé ($30) was an instant hit when it was released. This Niagara bubbly oozes charm and elegance, and what’s more, tastes good, too. Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Brut Rose Champagne ($348) is liquid art in a hand-painted floral bottle. Despite the lively, lusty taste, at this price, it's definitely for special occasions only.
A sense of place
St. Tropez Carte Noire Rose ($15), from the south of France near St.-Tropez, delivers warm flavours of ripe fruit for casual summer dining. Mateus Rose ($9), Portugal's most famous export, still has cachet with many drinkers thanks to its crackling texture, fruity taste and exceptional price. Remy-Pannier Rose d'Anjou ($11) hails from France's historic Loire Valley. It's off-dry with light strawberry-melon flavours, and a natural with fish.
A sense of fun
Girls' Night Out Merlot Chardonnay ($13) comes from Ontario's Colio Estate Wines. Most guys don’t know what they’re missing. Shhh, let’s keep it that way. Sutter Home White Zinfandel ($9) tastes fruity and sweet – an ice cube is de rigueur. It’s the ultimate patio pour. Yellow Tail Bubbles Rose ($14) capitalizes on the trend toward drinking pink wines combined with the fad of sipping bubblies, compounded by the economic shift toward paying less. Is this a menage a trois made in heaven? Yes!