Neither fish nor fowl – what’s the point of rosé?

Either a glass of rosé or a dull-billed platypus
Either a glass of rosé or a duck-billed platypus

For a long time I was almost purely a red wine drinker.  Then, due for inconvenient minor health reasons I had to give up red wine, so I became solely a white wine drinker.  That led me to putting some serious “research” into white wine, so now although I drink red again, over 70% of my cellar is white.

But what about rosé?  It’s neither fish nor fowl, neither red nor white – why does it even exist?

It’s the duck-billed platypus of wine!

It doesn’t have the freshness of white or the pleasing body of red – it falls between two stools and does neither thing well.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s the fastest growing wine category in France, so if you venture into a French supermarket you will see more pink than white – what gives?

This isn’t a rant about pink things for the sake of it – I’m quite metrosexual in my dress sense and will happily wear pink shirts and / or ties.

And then the solution finally dawned on me.  If it’s any good, treat a rosé like a light red and chill it very slightly, but drink it out of proper red wine glasses.  That’s what I did with this delicious Masi rosato.

Rose del Masi
Rosa del Masi

I do keep harping on about the temperature of wine, but it’s so important for acidity, sweetness, aromas and flavours.

It turns out I’ve been drinking rosé wrong all this time! 

8 thoughts on “Neither fish nor fowl – what’s the point of rosé?”

  1. As you know, I’m a huge fan of rosé. Sadly much of what you said is true of quite a few, but there are so many that are phenomenal . Interesting about treating it like a light red, I never really thought about it outright, but that is exactly what i do, and I use Pinot Noir glasses, I find they really pop!

  2. Reblogged this on amarchinthevines and commented:
    I always found rosé insipid and avoided it for years. I do think the standard has improved in recent years and here in the Languedoc there are some lovely examples, I’m converted. Look out too for an increasing trend towards Clairet type wines with skin maceration for 48 hours or so, an excellent example is Turner Pageot 48h, whose name I hope I’ve explained 🙂

  3. Maybe a lot of it is about location, too. On a hot summer’s afternoon here in Nice there’s nothing better than a chilled and refreshing glass of Côtes de Provence rosé, with the right grapefruity-agrumey-red fruit flavours! You can understand why no one drinks anything else 😉

  4. Favorite line: rosé is “the duck-billed platypus of wine.” : ) We used to drink almost exclusively red, but in the last several years have rediscovered the bliss of great white wines and rosé. Cheers to the lighter side!

  5. thinkin abt Rosè as a bare mix of white&red was a common mistake, in Italy too. I think within next years, this category will get its own niche growing, and maybe overpassing the white wines. Here in Puglia, on May the annual National Eneologic Concourse is held. That’s the best season to try a fresh Rosato 😉

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