Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rosé wine by any other name.... just not the same.

You might say I have come full circle. In college the "in" wine to drink was pink and was none other than Mateus. A light and sweet Portuguese rosé in that cute little dark green bocksbeutel.
From the archives of Wines&Vines comes this interesting article on rosés. Then 1973 saw the "invention" of White Zinfandel at Sutter Home.Today they sell more than 4 million bottles annually. Beringer Vineyards produces one of the most popular white Zinfandels on the market and today White Zinfandel accounts for 10% of all wine sold by volume, making it the third most popular varietal in the US. Had not touched much of anything pink or blush for years till visiting France during the 2005 vintage. Even ordinary "house rosés" are very quaffable and very enjoyable, especially on a hot day.
Couldn't resist going to The Great Canadian Pub on the left bank in Paris though, for a quick Canadian brewsky.
More than half of the wines produced in Provence are rosés. Some of the very best rosés in the world come from the Southern Rhône Valley. The appellation of Tavel produces rosés only.
Rosés are becoming more popular with North American wine drinkers and there is a trend to produce a drier style of rosé. British Columbia produces some outstanding rosés and now that
they are done in a drier style I am beginning to quite enjoy them. The two bottles on the left in the picture are a couple of the best examples.
St.Hubertus and Quails'Gate. ( click to enlarge )
So a Rosé by another name may not be the same but a Riedel glass by another name is the same. Riedel has just released a Vinum Rosé glass. They claim of course that a lot of tasting and testing went into the production of this glass. But other than a "pink" stem it is the same glass as the one that used to be called their Chianti glass. This then, again after much tasting and testing became the Zinfandel glass and then the Riesling Grand Cru. Talk about a misnomer. Grand Cru Riesling? And now its also the Rosé glass. Look at the pretty box with the pink ribbon. That's the Rosé glass. Look at the glass on the right. That is the Zinfandel glass. Some smart marketing going on? White Zinfandel popular, rosés more popular. Hmmm! Give Riedel credit though. Riedel will donate 15% of the proceeds from the sale of this glass to support "Living Beyond Breast Cancer". Living Beyond Breast Cancer, founded in 1991, is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. A very worthy cause indeed. I have my order in for a few sets of these. Besides liking the funky pink stem, this glass (Zinfandel, Chianti, Riesling) is one of my favorite all around good wine glasses. I often take one to various wine tastings around town.


Nick said...

Hi Wilf,

Interesting blog on rose wines! I am going to pass the Riedel glass info onto my wife Sue as she has written about breast cancer before. I didn't realise that Cleavage Creek was in aid of breast cancer until she told me!



Peter May - The Pinotage Club said...

Sutter Home's first white Zin was in 1972 - it was dry. They didn't make one in 73. It was in 75 that they first made it semi-sweet (2% RS)after a stuck fermentation and had success. (source 'Harvesting the Dream')

Wilf G.K said...

Peter, you are so right. Thanks for pointing out that error.
A toast to you but not with a glass of white zin.