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   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 74, May 2009   
Europe Destroys Rose WinesEurope Destroys Rose Wines  Contents 
Issue 73, April 2009 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 75, June 2009

Europe Destroys Rose Wines


 There are bad news for rose wine lovers, as well as for everyone who however appreciates fine wines. Rose wines, as it is widely known, are not liked by most of consumers, for many this style of wine would not even be worth of being called “wine”, guilty of not being neither white nor red. Nevertheless, the choice of fine rose wines is today vast, examples of high quality which color of pink the glass and please the nose with fine aromas, just like the other two white and red colleagues. To tell the truth, there also are many rose wines which are not so “good”, but this, after all, can also be said for white wines and red wines. If to the weak reputation of rose wines is also added the legalization of wine making practices of disputable quality, things can only get worse. If today the appreciation of rose wines is pretty modest, the new laws which are about to be discussed in the European Community could represent the “end” of rose wines.


 

 With the new laws which are about to be discussed, the European Commission confirms its “aversion” against quality, promulgating pretty disputable laws for the safeguarding and promotion of fine wines. After having promoted the use of wood chips in wine, dealcoholization, chaptalization and production of fruit wines, now the European Commission is focusing on the demolition of rose wines. It is very likely from August on, it will be possible - and legal - to make rose wines by blending white wines and red wines together, a practice which can be cause of frauds detrimental to quality. This practice, which in Europe is currently forbidden for all table wines, was only permitted in the production of certain rose sparkling wines, such as Champagne and Franciacorta. In rose table wines, the production is currently made in two specific methods, and however by making use of red berried grapes only.

 The first, and the most frequent one, provides for a short maceration of the must with the skins of grapes, whereas the second method is called bleeding, consisting in drawing off a part of the must in a red wine - which is fermenting with skins of grapes - after few hours from crushing. The practice of bleeding is generally used for increasing the structure of certain red wines, therefore fermenting the fraction of the must, which is scarcely colored, and then obtaining a rose wine. The possibility of producing rose wines by blending red and white wines, represents a serious menace to the quality of wine and a new law detrimental to the dignity of consumers. The decision, according to some, would be useful for supporting the economy of wine, therefore allowing the production of rose wines at competitive prices in order to support the competition with producers of other countries, in particular in those countries where rose wines are pretty appreciated, such as China.

 Only France and Italy are contrary to this decision, however - despite the protests of these two important wine countries - it is very likely from August 1st it will be possible to make in Europe rose table wines obtained from the blending of whites and reds. In order to support the safeguarding of quality in rose wines, France has proposed the indication in label “traditional rose wine” reserved only to wines produced with red berried grapes and with traditional methods. This condition, which could seem to end the debates arose in this case, has the unforgivable fault of not being mandatory, as well as it will not be mandatory to state in the label it is a blended rose wine. In other words, consumers will never be sure about the real quality of the rose wine they are about to buy: the doubt it is an ignoble fake rose will always be high.

 As these indications will not be mandatory, in European countries where the culture of quality rose wines is associated to territory - such as France and Italy - they will be strongly interested in distinguishing the two productions, whereas in other countries, in order to have better chances in competition obtained from confusion and scarce information, they will not write anything in labels. Are we really sure this law will be useful in supporting the economy of rose wines? A rose wine obtained by blending whites and reds of disputable quality, will ever make a quality wine? Why do we talk about “disputable quality”? Do you think producers and countries interested on the benefits of this law, will make use of quality white and red wines to produce their rose wines by using this method? As white and red wines are appreciated and have a higher dignity than rose wines, in case producers have quality wines belonging to these two styles, who would ever blend them in order to make a quality rose wine? No one, of course: producers who decide to make a quality rose wine, make it by using quality methods and criteria.

 The new law of the European Commission, the way it is, seems to be an attempt to support producers of low quality wines, who can sell their products by taking advantage of the new interest - although modest - consumers are having for rose wines. If it is true rose wines are getting more and more attention among wine lovers, this is the result of a hard work done on quality, by making people change its mind with facts, also to the ones who believed rose wines to be non wines. This job, which needs many other supporting initiatives, will certainly be vanished by laws like this, as it will permit the production of disputable quality wines. Producers who believe in quality, will certainly not make use of this disputable method. By considering the recent laws promulgated by the European Commission about wine, it seems the esteem the politician of the Old Continent have for wine is very low. Indeed, it seems they are trying everything in order to support the worst example of quality wines produced in our continent. By seeing the recent Communitarian laws about this matter, we may say they are absolutely successful in doing this. Congratulations!

 




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  Editorial Issue 74, May 2009   
Europe Destroys Rose WinesEurope Destroys Rose Wines  Contents 
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