Further to my introduction to Château Miraval in my last Rewriting Wine 101 article, I would like to share more facts – well, let’s more accurately call them myths – about rosé.
Myth 1: rosé is a wine with no history. To the contrary, rosé is one of the world’s oldest wines! Around 2,500 years ago in the Mediterranean region, where Provence is now located, grapes were crushed, and the juice began fermenting without contact with the skin. This meant that all the wines made from black grapes were only lightly coloured red.
Myth 2: rosé is simple to make. Rosé is not made by mixing red and white wine (in fact, this is illegal). It is made with 100% black grape varieties or by co-fermenting black and white grape varieties. In Provence, there are more than 12 black and white grape varieties for making rosé. Winemakers must be precise with the mix of grape varieties, and special techniques are required to extract just the right amount of colour from the skin whilst also preserving the freshness.
Myth 3: all rosé is the same. There are myriad styles of rosé in the world depending on the grape varieties, vineyard sites and winemaking techniques used. It can be sparkling, still, dry or medium sweet. Provence in France leads the world in terms of rosé production, followed by the USA and Spain.
Myth 4: rosé can only be enjoyed as an aperitif. It is certainly true that rosé is a great aperitif, but it does not stop there. Its versatility and freshness make it an all-round food companion, from Cantonese dim sum, to fish and chips, to mild curries. Rosé stays at the background to make a meal more enjoyable, but it does not overwhelm the palate. It is also a year-round wine to enjoy in subtropical climates like Hong Kong, where winter temperatures seldom drop below 15ºC.
With 6% of global rosé production, Provence can rightly be called the capital of rosé. Wines of Provence has launched A Voyage to Provence in August and September for wine lovers to experience the wonder of rosé at various retail outlets in Hong Kong, including city’super, SOGO, Watson’s Wine and online merchants.
We tasted 20 Provençal rosés at a recent media event, and here are a few I will drink with pleasure this summer:
- Château de Saint-Martin Grand Réserve 2020, available from Ratatouille HK
- Chateau Léoube Love by Léoube 2020, available from Omtis Fine Wines
- Château Roubine La Vie en Rose 2020, available from Vines & Terroirs
- Château de Berne Inspiration 2020, available from Jebsen Fine Wines
- Château La Martinette 2020, available from LQV
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