Stop and Smell the Rosé

The Much Maligned Rosé

I was visiting some liquor stores and wine shops recently and noticed lots of displays featuring rosé wines, which I love. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about rosé and, frankly neither did the salespeople I spoke with.

In fact, as I pursued trying to increase my knowledge, the so-called mavens I know weren’t that helpful either.

So, here I am, a wine drinker who loves rosé and I’m surrounded by myths and misinformation.

I set out to rectify the situation and here’s what I’ve learned so far.

(Feel free to chime in with comments or send me an email.)


Nielsen Data. Sales of imported rosé table wines.
Nielsen Data. Sales of imported rosé table wines.

I learned that I’m not alone in my preference and adoration of rosé. The most recent data I saw indicated that imported rosé sales are growing sharply. In fact, an article in the May 5th Examiner has this to say:

“While drinking pink wine (at least publicly) was previously relegated to newbies quaffing White Zinfandel and other sweet blush wines, today’s rosés run the gamut in hue and are primarily dry in style. With a decade of growth in the U.S. market, rosé continues to be one of the U.S.’s fastest growing wine categories in retail sales; the message is clear: Rosé is here to stay.”

So there… I am not alone. I also will bet that like me, drinking rosé goes beyond just the summer, picnics and barbeques. Those of you who sass rosé can just stick it you-know-where. (Hint – it rimes with sass.)

Myth: Mixing red and white wine together is how you make rosé.

Ha. If you believe this then please leave this blog.

Lightly crushing red grapes and macerating the liquid with the skins for a period of time makes rosé. The juice is strained from the solid stuff to create a “must” which is then fermented in tanks.

The longer the grapes’ skins are left sitting in the wine, the darker the color. That’s why there are many shades of rosé.

Rosé wine colors --depending on how long the skins are left in the wine.
Rosé wine colors –depending on how long the skins are left in the wine.

Other Factoids

I came across an interesting article on Buzzfeed about rosé with some interesting “things you need to know.”

Such as:

Rosé can come from anywhere in the world but generally old world rosé will usually be drier and new world rosé might be less dry. While I love all types of rosé, I’m especially fond of those from Provence, France.

With rosé the newest vintage is the freshest so don’t be skittish about drinking it young. You won’t find anything dated more than two or three years ago and, forget about hoarding it in your cellar. Rosé is meant to be consumed young and that’s reflected in the price, which means there are great options in the $15 range.

Oh, and finally, about barbeques…while rosé is not meant only for those events, it is great with food you grill outdoors.

There you have it, a layperson’s learning about rosé. I have to tell you that writing this post has made me very thirsty. Also, I intend to scour the Internet for rosé tasting events.

Do you know any?

Stay tuned.

A glass of rosé and a sunset. What could be better?


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  1. Hey Arthur, you’ve come to the right place…well, being in New York City, the right place has come to you. Check out La Nuit En Rosé, taking place in NYC lucky Friday, June 13 and Saturday June 14. Sample 50 rosé’s…on a hybrid yacht! Ch-ch-check us out on

  2. Henry, I will definitely look into it. Sounds like fun… cruise NYC and sample 50 rosés. Count me in!

  3. Whilst Provence might be the obvious place to find Rose, the Loire (Saumur) has some very fine varieties. But still old school. Now come to England (the South West) and to a terrific vineyard in Cornwall that we discovered over Easter, Camel Valley. There they have a number of different rose wines that match (surpass) anything the French can do. Anyone in the area … or with access to buying online … should go there (preferably visit by bike off the Camel cycle trail that goes through the fields of the vineyard).

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