I have fought long and hard for the once step-children Rosés of the world. By that I mean that I’ve raised more than a few eyebrows at formal dinners in our home over the last ten years by serving a Rosé as a means of educating those bon vivants who associate anything pink with white Zinfandel. Thankfully, I no longer need to promote dry well-crafted Rosé because these wines are now well-loved by many. But, I’ve seen a change in the Rosé landscape in the last months and the warning signs trouble me.
Has Rosé now morphed into a brand? There are now lipsticks capitalizing on the colors used to describe a Rosé wine. I just learned this morning that Target is launching it’s own line called Yes Way Rosé. This weekend I was told that a well-known Vodka producer is now making Rosé vodka. Are complex Rosés being replaced by poor quality pinks that can be offered in restaurants for $3-5 bucks a glass to the masses, rather than $9-10 glass of a well-made Rosé?
The other day in the supermarket I saw a case of Rosé with bottle top closures that were the same as those on beer or a soda-pop bottle. The Rosé was $3.49 per bottle. You don’t even want to know where it was made. A few months ago I was at an event in which they served $4 a bottle Rosé from Trader Joe's (BTW: I do like TJ’s Rosé from Provence for $7-8 a bottle), but this one was insipid. I took one sip and quietly through the remainder of the glass out. There was definitely no there, there. No aroma. No taste. No structure. No finish. No nada.
It would be a travesty to see lovely well done Rosés loose out to pink plonk. Have we made a full circle? Are we going back to the future of White Zin but without the sugar under the guise of Rosé? I hope not.