I’m not quite sure who we should thank for it but it seems like rose has been undergoing something of a cultural comeback these days! For years I’ve professed my love of the blushing beautiful pink wines of the world and been met by looks of pity or confusion. Lucky for us, rose is finally getting some credit for it’s often elegant beauty. You can imagine my excitement when I stepped through the doors of One Market Restaurant in San Francisco for the ‘Provence Rose in the City 2015’ event to check out the 2014 rose vintage being revealed there by the Provence wine council!
A Little History
Jean Jacques Breban, President of the Provence wine council welcomed us to the tasting and and started us out with an overview of the region, calling out some highlights of the current release of wines. Provence, comprised of 150 mile wide area in the southern part of France, is the birthplace of rose wine which makes up roughly 88% of all production in the region. Between the nourishing ocean breezes, soils rich with limestone and consistent sunshine (2,800 +hours per year) this is an ideal wine growing region. The most common rose grapes are Grenache, Cincault, Syrah, Mouvedre, Tiburon and Cariagnan.
Rose gets its color, flavor and character from the red grapes from which it is made. By allowing a brief period of skin contact during fermentation (in many cases just a few hours) the winemaker fine tunes the body and color of the finished product. The wines are gorgeous — colors of salmon pink, orangish pink, light pink – you can feel the sunshine, ocean breezes and delicious stone fruit in the bottle.
Some of Our Favorites
Following the introduction we were treated to an elegant tasting complete with amazing food pairings. Rich mushroom pasta, grilled gulf shrimp and fava bean salad all complimented our tasting. We walked through an amazing line-up of 8 rose and 2 red wines (yes they make red in Provence, but it typically plays second fiddle to the more popular roses). Our favorites:
2014 Domaine D’Aurore, Cotes De Provence Rose – $18 SRP
2014 Chateau Gassier 946 Cotes De Provence Sainte Victoire – $18 SRP
2014 Estandon, Cotes de Provence Rose – $13 SRP
A Wine For All (or most!) Occasions
The versatility of rose is at the heart of it’s success. Pairing well with a wide range of flavors and foods, rose can be spectacular as a compliment to dinner or refreshing as a pre-meal cocktail hour choice. We love having rose on hand as a lighter alternative to red wine for guests at lunch.
Worldwide rose consumption rates are telling a pretty exciting story about the rising popularity of these killer pink wines. In particular, rose from the Provence wine region in Southern France has seen steady increases in the last decade. While France accounts for 30% of all rose consumed around the world, the U.S. has catapulted into the second highest overall in recent years and with summer right around the corner we’re sure to be making a run at first sometime soon.
Looking to learn more about the amazing Roses of Provence? Check out www.winesofprovence.com for great info!