Wine Culture and Information - Volume 16
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  Editorial Issue 169, January 2018   
The Wine in PinkThe Wine in Pink  Contents 
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The Wine in Pink


 The consumption of wine, just like every social expression, is regulated by marketing trends and, equally important, fads repeating in the course of time, cyclically favoring specific wine styles. The two main styles which are periodically taking the lead in the consumption are white and red. These styles alternatively win the crown of style of the moment, in a competition now repeating since many decades. There are then two styles - sparkling and rosé wines - which hardly try to reach the top of the ranking of wine consumption, however always staying far away from the top. Of the two, sparkling wines - no matter the production method - have their own niche, in particular during holidays. Although they are not exclusively used for celebrating special moments, they however are the favorite wines for celebrating or remembering a special event. Sweet and fortified wines, unfortunately, are always at the bottom of this ranking.


 

 Rosé wines evidently have a hard time to find a way in consumption trends, frequently considered as the aliens of the world of wine, their consumption alternates from oblivion to resurrection caused by the fads of the moment. The world of rosé wines is evidently vast: the variety of territories and producers are of remarkable interest, with bottles capable of expressing very high quality levels. For the sake of truth, it is impossible to forget the quality of rosé wines of the past, most of the times being mediocre, playing the role of the ugly duckling of wine making. It is something clearly belonging to the past - and I hope they will remain associated to that era - as today the overall quality of rosé wines is clearly distant from those times and producers are finally considering this style with a quality approach. This is also because of the “new life” rosé wines are living now, also thanks to a new fad which transformed them into trendy wines.

 Talking about rosé wines, it should be noticed there are not table wines only, a style that - like already said - has always lived alternating moments of preference and quality. Something evidently different for rosé sparkling wines, in particular those produced with the classic method, frequently favored by bubble lovers and considered by them quality wines. I am of course among them, as rosé bubbles certainly are my favorite classic method sparkling wines. A passion indissolubly associated to my beloved Pinot Noir, a love equally strong and passionate even in case it is vinified as red. A well known fact to those who love the famous red grape from Burgundy, not all the Pinot Noir does glitter and the many mediocre bottles around are there to prove the red from Burgundy is not something which can be mastered by every producer and territory.

 Pinot Noir is obviously not the only red grape used for the production of rosé wines, however it certainly is the most noble and interesting variety for the production of rosé sparkling wines. On this regard, we should notice a rosé wine is produced by using the must of red grapes macerated with skins for a very short time in order to give a pink color. As it is commonly known, in fact, substances giving a red color, as well as pink, to wines is extracted from the skins of red berried grapes. The longer the maceration time, the higher the quantity of color extracted, of course limited to the coloring capacity of the grape. The production of rosé wines takes few hours of maceration, just the time needed to get the desired pink color. At the end of maceration skins of the grape are separated from the must, then the fermentation and vinification are the same as in every regular white wine.

 I have always had a certain interest for rosé wines, nevertheless for wine in general, no matter the making style, in particular for their versatility at the table. Most of the times they represent the solution “in the middle”, that is they are practically perfect in those cases in which a white wine is not enough and a red is simply too much. Last but not the least, rosé wines, in particular those produced with a short maceration, can be enjoyed in the so called “aperitifs”: served at a cool temperature they give a pleasing relief to the summer heat. I am therefore happy to see rosé wines are, like to say, becoming a fad again, although I am confessing I would also like to see the same appreciation and interest for rosé bubbles as well. In particular those produced with the classic method, a style for which - I confess it - I am very exacting and I can easily get upset when in my glass I have, like to say, not worthy representatives.

 During all these years dedicated to wine, I have witnessed tens of attempts for the reevaluation of rosé wines, some disputable both for the form and message, others were more convincing however not exactly effective. This was also because of the scarce attention producers dedicated to rosé wines, most of the times considered as lesser wines, with evidently disappointing qualitative results. Of course, the reevaluation of a product, no matter what it is, needs - first of all - quality and, on this regard, things have evidently changed, and for the good, in regard to past years. It is in fact becoming more and more common to taste rosé wines of very high quality, something clearly giving hope, like to say, for a better future. In particular for the fact rosé wines are less and less produced as a “by-product” of red wines, in particular by using the bleeding technique. Quality in wine is everything in order to be credible, rosé wines are no exception in this, and the lesson learned for white and red wines is there to teach us quality and honesty are the key for success. Also and especially for rosé wines.

Antonello Biancalana



   Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 169, January 2018   
The Wine in PinkThe Wine in Pink  Contents 
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