It’s officially spring, and I’m officially thinking of warmer temps and lighter wines. Clearly rosè helps in that transition. So, to kick off my ‘rosè season’, I attended Provence in the City hosted by Vins de Provence. This trade event was hoped to show us tastemakers, educators, retailers…why Provence is the fastest-growing French region in exportation of wines to the US.
Fastest-growing you say?? Total table wine sales for 2011 was 3.7%, for rose… 26%!! Wonder why the rise… Then had a conversation with some gentlemen at the event where he stated that he wondered how much influence has rap music, “Bottle of that rose, pass me some mo’ ” or “A lot of quiet time, pink bottles of Rose” — a la Rick Ross — had on rose. Hmmm. Never thought of that. But in all actuality, why couldn’t he influence the masses to drink rosè? Drake, Kanye, etc have had a more than noticeable effect on Moscato sales in the US. So much so that CA wineries are scrambling to plant more moscato vines in order to keep up with this growing trend. I can’t even count the amount of articles that I’ve read citing the hip-hop/rap influence on the sales of Moscato. We also saw it happen with Cognac, Ciroc, Cristal, Patron, need I go on?
So I thought about it…and realized that hip-hop culture influences a lot of what people do, say, wear, eat and drink. To see a ’sizeable’ gentleman like Rick Ross rapping about and drinking rosè, clearly it must be okay. And if he does it, I should at least try it right? Thinking beyond the pink fruity Boone’s Farm and White Zinfandels, rosè is an elegant, light, and fruity forward wine. A great introduction for those that don’t usually drink wine.
If that’s what really is causing this trend though, I wonder how long it will take people to recognize it? This time around, maybe someone will market their own brand beforehand. Funny thing though, when mentioning Rick Ross or Kanye to a French wine producer or even the people of Vins de Provence that were hosting the event… *blank stare*
Whenever I mention rose, people automatically think sweet pink wine. White Zinfandel that your parents used to drink. Or me waaaaaaay back in the day (that will just be our secret though). I think people are beginning to realize that rose is different than blush wines and not synonymous with White Zinfandel (that misconception certainly kept me away from them at first). Rose wines, especially those from Provence, are made from red grapes such as Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cab Sauv. The color and the flavor comes from the dark skins of the grapes. Producers allow only brief contact of juice and skins before fermentation in order to get the elegant pink color that ranges from pale pink to a salmon-orangey pink and fermented to dryness.
With 17 producers in attendance, my wine sister, Rita Blackwell, and I sipped through several of the roses, reds, and whites from Provence that were on display. Being a very food-friendly wine, cassoulet, tuna, beef & onions, crab claws, shrimp, tuna tartare and raw oysters were served to pair with the wines. Some of my faves from the tasting were:
Now of course since I liked those, probably one 2 of them are actually currently being imported to the US. Wish me luck on finding those two!