Our wine experts, Chris and Kingston, dive deep into the world of Rosé and where they see it going.

Rosé has changed immensely over the years. Go back 15-20 years ago and people were more focused on a semi-sweet and low ABV style. Now, Rosé has made the jump to a more delicate and refreshing type of wine that people are loving.

While Rosé has always portrayed the message of pool party vibes and summer outings, the message for 2020 needed to shift. The BBQs were canceled and the concerts were postponed, therefore the Rosé producers needed to change their direction. This change has evoked a more serious tone for the wine.

Rosé celebrates the little things and moments of joy. And while it may not cure what this year has brought, the pink wine is sticking around.

The selections are endless. Some are dry and powerful with flavor while others are delicate and sweet. There is something for everyone. If you aren’t on the bandwagon yet, it’s time to abroad.

Chris’ take on Rosé:

Do you think Rosé will phase out in 2021? Or is it around to stay? And why?

Not a chance! If Rosé wasn’t here for the long run, it would’ve fallen off as backlash for the whole Frose explosion a few years back. It didn’t though, because it’s a delicious wine. It also just happens to be pink and ready to party.

Many people look at Rosé as a drink to enjoy in the summer. How can we make the shift to enjoying the sweet drink all year round?

I think Rosé needs to overcome its “party-girl” image to make that jump. Like … #RoseAllDay is amazing, but there’s barely a mention of what we’re drinking it with. It’s who we’re drinking it with. It’s days at the beach and white linen pants, but not enough emphasis on all the fresh seafood that Rosé crushes with. And will continue to crush with long into the colder periods. It’s awesome, it’s food-friendly —drink it whenever.

Rosé is shifting into the luxury category. Why? What makes it luxury?

I think it’s just the trend continuing to shift upward. As more people discover Rosé and the fun of it, I think it’s natural that some people want to push the envelope a bit more. When getting into a “luxury” market, it’s really quite flattering, because it means the right eyes were watching and getting involved. Also, pink is just a rad color so… there’s that.

When buying a Rosé, what should you be looking for? A darker pink, a paler pink, etc.

I don’t believe there’s really a visual cue per-say. Once it reaches a shade of being perceptibly pink, that’s really it. Color is all across that pink range, and just naturally varies based on things like the thickness of the grape used. After that, the usual sort of wine-cautious things applies (Be wary of super colorful labels with cute cartoon names, don’t buy the absolute cheapest thing, etc.) After that, if it looks fun, go for it. There’s a lot of really cool Rosé out there, so feel free to experiment.

Any specific bottles/brands you recommend?

Maison Saint Aix – AIX Rose – This is a classic example of Rhone Valley Rosé. The Rhone is more famous for its bold red wines, but luckily some of the primary grapes of the region (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre) all tend to make really awesome Rosé as well. Usually full-bodied with a nice hint of spice, and this is right on the money

Maison Saint Aix - AIX Rose

Maison Saint Aix – AIX Rose

If you want to look stateside, Willakenzie Estate from Oregon makes a really great Rosé from Pinot Noir. A little bit lighter in body, but with some really subtle fruit and a velvety style.

Willakenzie Estate from Oregon

Willakenzie Estate from Oregon

Or if you want to splurge for something a bit nicer, Chateau des Selles from Domaine Ott is one of my all-time favorites. It’s another Rhone-style rose (this one based on Grenache) that just ticks all the boxes so incredibly well— fruit, spice, everything nice.

Chateau des Selles from Domaine Ott

Chateau des Selles from Domaine Ott

Rosé has always sent the message of outdoor gatherings, pool parties, and summer activities. With 2020 canceling all that, what do you think of the more serious message Rosé brands are sending? ex. moments of joy or celebrating the little things 

Ok, so imagine if you will that we’re Paul Rudd in some 2000’s comedy, right. So Rosé Witherspoon moves to town and we’re kind of interested in her. but too scared to actually make a move. Then the cool girls in school give Rosé a makeover and everyone falls in love with her. Our not too nerdy, but comical Jonah Hill like sidekick convinces us to make our move and we start hanging out and everything’s great. We’re totally at these fun, wonderful college parties, just living the life. Well, then she gets in some horrible accident (like … 2020) and all her friends start being mean and she spirals out of control and now we realize we love her for what’s she been all along.

It’s like that … But socially distanced.

Kingston’s take on Rosé:

Do you think Rosé will phase out in 2021? Or is it around to stay? And why?

Step aside frosé, your time is over… In 2021 I think we’re going to see rosé reimagined, rebranded, and, maybe even made a little stronger! I personally believe that as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continues forward and everyone will have Beyoncé’s remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s song “Savage” on their playlists. We will see the American public come back out to shop and dine, right in time for summer.

The newly introduced Prosecco Rosé will become the newest trend on everyone’s Instagram accounts. It combines the delight of bubbles/spritzes with a rosé twist. It finally passed stringent DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) laws revolving around Prosecco labeling this past year, so now American businesses will have to bring it ashore to see it become the next trending hashtag on new media sites.

Moreover, the COVID-19 economy has made a good chunk of Americans both frugal and better consumer advocates. We’re more likely to support domestic products, guaranteeing our local wineries and wine distributors that are still around, will stay afloat by purchasing their affordable, yet higher-quality rosé wines. Imports of wines can (and will) likely increase due to the international fiasco of tariffs that have been going on for the last few years. As such, the American audience will be compelled to purchase the local, domestic rosés around, whether on-site or online.

Speaking on that note, rosé is still high in demand and I doubt it will go anytime next year and for years to come. Rosé wine education continues to spread, and wineries focus on innovating rosé will keep this type of wine throughout the post-COVID-19 years.

Many people look at Rosé as a drink to enjoy in the summer. How can we make the shift to enjoying the sweet drink all year round?

The perception of rosé as both a “sweet drink” and “exclusively summer” libation needs to be removed from our own stereotypes and bias of its categorization. Rosé has always had the potential to be considered a legitimately complex wine if we allowed ourselves to see it through this viewing; versus the “rosé -tinted“ glasses we were forced to wear by dictating external sources. Having fun dialogues like what we are having right now and sharing such a wealth of information with others, can allow a paradigm shift of rosé as a truly valuable, opulent beverage with diverse flavor profiles, density, and texture.

Rosé is shifting into the luxury category. Why? What makes it luxury?

A majority of the American population, and most likely around the world, may not have realized but rosé wines are one of the oldest historically recorded types. Its enjoyment has fluctuated throughout the centuries, but rosé wine made a comeback in the ’80s with marketing campaigns of its supposed sweetness, accessibility for the average consumer, and its attractive pink coloring.

More recently in the last two decades, dry rosé wines are returning to the public palate. This is due to a resurgence of spreading formal wine education and knowledge, through culinary pairings, social media outlets, in-person sommelier workshops, and so forth. By understanding the different grapes that can be used to create the rosé wines we see on both shelves and online purchases, we expand our taste experience to a whole new dimension.

When buying a Rosé, what should you be looking for? A darker pink, a paler pink, etc.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and as such, it speaks truly for the optical illusion of rosé. If one is looking for a rosé due to its color, they have to understand the origins of where their bottle of rosé came from. A fun way to look at every rosé is that each one has a home. This home includes factors such as terroir composition, weather patterns, seasonal changes, vineyard variety, soil fertility, and elevation. The specific hue of your rosé is based upon what kind of grape juices burst forth, as well as how it was made.

Was your rosémacerated for a few hours to a few days in its own grape skins, or was it created in a process of saignée to give it a more concentrated coloring? Is your wine made from all Pinot Noir grapes, or does it have a blend of Grenache and Cinsault varietals from Tavel, France? So choosing your next rosé due to its coloring is no different from picking the bottle because it has a “cool” or “pretty” or “elegant” packaging. It’s fairly all subjective!

Any specific bottles/brands you recommend?

Olé & Obrigado, Liquid Geography Rosé, Bierzo, Spain 2019 ($15)

A fine dry rosé wine made with 100% Mencia grapes from quinquagenarian vines in the Bierzo region of northwest Spain. This rosé is produced in stainless steel vats, highlighting a natural florid quality with notes of red currant, strawberries, and white pepper. Pairs well with vegetables, grains, and seafood. The profits of this Spanish rosé are split between three non-profits: The T.J. Martell Foundation for Cancer Research, Wheeling Forward, and World Central Kitchen. 

Olé & Obrigado, Liquid Geography Rosé

Olé & Obrigado, Liquid Geography Rosé

Jenny & Francois Selections, Gaspard Rosé, Touraine, Loire Valley, France 2019 ($20)

A value buys for a bottle from the Middle Loire Valley! Made from a blend of organic Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Pineau d’Aunis grape varietals. Aromas of herbal and punch. The tasting notes can be described as a mix of cranberry, raspberry, and pepper with light tannins.

Jenny & Francois Selections, Gaspard Rosé

Jenny & Francois Selections, Gaspard Rosé

B. Wise Vineyards, Ronda Rosé, Sonoma County, United States 2018 ($34)

Hints of strawberry, honeydew, and Williams’ Bon chrétien pear, with notes of lime zest, earthiness, and vanilla. An opulent tasting experience with a vibrant finish. A blend of 92% Pinot Noir and 8% Grenache grapes.

B. Wise Vineyards, Ronda Rosé

B. Wise Vineyards, Ronda Rosé

Rosé has always sent the message of outdoor gatherings, pool parties, and summer activities. With 2020 canceling all that, what do you think of the more serious message Rosé brands are sending? ex. moments of joy or celebrating the little things 

Rosé wine branding will continue to capitalize on the flavor nuances inside their wines, such as watermelon, peach, and strawberry, which bring up to the mind waning summer days and looking forward to that in the coming year. But if select wines also have other features, such as slight crispness, minerality, or even full-bodied, all types of descriptors will be pushed by these wine brands and their respected marketing departments about “sharing brisk nights ahead”, “snuggling and staying rosy” and “treating one’s self to a whole bottle because we deserve it”… Or so whatever wine brands believe will push consumers into buying their product for the holidays.

Take these two rosé wine titans for example the social media of Gérard Bertrand has picked themes of a family being together with their adorable image marketing. Château D’Esclans’s Whispering Angel Instagram account has been posting photos of their wine at snowy venues, highlighting warm memories to be made and remembering the special rosy life moments. I wouldn’t say this is out of the ordinary of what we think about rosé wines, because rosé wine imagery, at its core, has always reflected celebrations and community, irrespective of the season.