The Fall & Rise of Rosé
Why has rosé wine gone from “No one cared about it, no one thought about it, no one drank it” to by far the largest growing wine style in terms of production and consumption? We’ll break it all down here.
Most of the first recorded wines of history were rosé style wines made from the blending of red and white wine grapes, this was the wine of choice in ancient Greece. Wines of pale colour and light body were popular all the way through the Middle Ages. While Provence, France has held a reputation for quality rosé throughout history to this day, much of the rest of the world experienced a tarnishing of the reputation of rosé, beginning in the late 1940’s.
Large quantities of cheap, sweet, Portuguese rosé wines were exported across the world in the late 40’s and were enjoyed by a specific audience all the way through to the late 1900’s. Still, in the world of fine wine, bulk imports of sweet pink wine meant that rosé had lost is shine in the eyes of Sommeliers, restauranteurs and serious wine drinkers. “No one cared about it, no one thought about it, no one drank it. At the time, there wasn’t rosé made for the purpose of being rosé. A winemaker maybe had some leftover grapes or something that didn’t ripen, and that was what the rosé was. No one was going out and saying, “I am going to make great rosé.”… From 1996 to 2009, I didn’t serve a single rosé. Never ever. It wasn’t until we opened RN74 in San Francisco that we started to serve rosé.” (Rajat Parr of RN74, San Fransisco).
It was in the early 2000’s that rosé began to gain popularity among all sectors of wine enthusiasts due, in large part, to the celebrity production of rosé. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Jon Bon Jovi, John Malkovich, Kylie Minogue, Sting, Post Malone and Drew Barrymore are just a few of the massive celebrity names that own and promote their very own rosé brands. There has also been a massive boon in popularity due to social media where younger consumers have rebranded the image of rosé on Instagram and Twitter. Italy has also been a driving force in re-popularising rosé, producing high quality rosés and instituting national #todayrosé collaborating to promote rosé in hundreds of location across the country.
Global consumption of rosé wines has soared an incredible 40% between 2002 and 2018! This in comparisons to just 5 % combined growth in other wine styles. While the rise in fashion of rosé has led to the opportunistic production of cheap, low quality, bulk wines it has also inspired the creation of high quality, small batch production. Many winemakers now champion a rosé made with real stylistic intention, varietal charm and attention to detail. These quality drops can be found in almost all major wine growing regions around the world.
For us at Moorooroo rosé is an integral part of our range. Anna Clara has undergone a few facelifts, starting out as a barrel aged, heavy wine appealing to a seasoned drinker we now keep Anna free from oak influence to preserve crisp, freshness of character. We also used to use predominantly Grenache in our rosé, in keeping with traditional French preference. These days we prefer the Barossa favourite Shiraz to promote a unique depth of character in a light, summer wine.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the storied history of rosé, now pour yourself a refreshing glass this ancient yet modern classic!
-GuildSomm. “A Brief History of Rosé”. https://www.guildsomm.com/public_content/features/articles/b/victoria-james/posts/rose. Victoria James. 2/5/17.
-Monte Maggio. “The Rise of Rosé – The History and Top Things You Need to Know”. https://www.montemaggio.com/the-road-to-rose-think-pink-for-success. Katarina Andersson. 2021.
-Tiki Tours. “Provence – Rosé Wine History”. https://www.tikitours.com.au/enews/2018/8/11/provence-rose-history. 2021.
-The Drinks Business. “Top 10 Celebrity Rosé Brands”. https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2020/06/top-10-celebrity-rose-brands/. Lucy Shaw. 11/6/20.
-Halliday. “The rise and rise of rosé wine”. https://www.winecompanion.com.au/articles/news/rose-wine-australia-today. Jane Faulkner. 6 Dec, 2019.
-CIVP/FranceAgriMer – Dowel Stratégie. “SUMMARY Publication 2020 Key figures 2018 Rosé Wines World Tracking: confirmations and new trends!” https://www.observatoiremondialdurose.com/pdfs/Summary%202020%20-%20Rosé%20Wines%20World%20Tracking%202018.pdf. February 2020.
-“The Oxford Companion to Wine”. Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding. Oxford University Press. 2015.
Harvested in late March and kept completely free from oak influence to preserve a crisp, youthful character. Made to a red wine drinkers palate, Anna Clara Shiraz Rosé boasts boldness and purity of flavour, vivid liveliness and a clean, dry finish. This robust, dry rosé is perfect for summer.
We can’t say it enough, thank you so much for your ongoing support!