Côtes de Provence rosé, like many wines, suffers from preconceived ideas. It would be a shame to pass up such a nectar for a few prejudices, so we have decided to put the church in the middle of the village, and break down all these preconceived ideas that tarnish the image of rosé wine from Provence. Rosé wine, just like white and red wine, comes from a rigorous know-how, which makes it an exceptional wine.
ROSE WINE IS A MIXTURE OF WHITE AND RED WINE: FALSE
The most common misconception about rosé wine is how it is made. Who hasn't heard that rosé wine is made from a mixture of red and white wine? This is totally false, and let's go a step further, it's forbidden! The blending of wines is only allowed for Champagne, and under very strict conditions.
Rosé wine is therefore not a blend of white and red wine, and is the result of a precise winemaking technique. Made from red grape varieties, rosé wine benefits from such an oenological profile thanks to the controlled contact of the juice with the pigments and aromas of the grape skin.
The art and know-how of a winemaker can be measured by his or her ability to produce a quality rosé wine, so complex is this vinification. Of the three wine colours, rosé is undeniably the most delicate to approach.
ROSE WINE IS ONLY DRUNK IN SUMMER: FALSE
For several years now, rosé wine has been a huge success as soon as the sunny days arrive. It is the star of summer aperitifs and is best enjoyed with your feet in the water or at a barbecue by the pool. Rosé wine is therefore widely considered to be a summer wine, and this is quite normal, as it is so refreshing.
However, the consumption of rosé wine should not be limited to a few months of the year. It can be enjoyed at any time of the year, provided that it is well chosen. For the cooler, even colder, periods of the year, it is recommended to enjoy a rosé wine rich in tannins and aromas. A well-made rosé wine from Provence is a perfect accompaniment to an autumnal dish of chestnuts, pumpkin or ceps, for example.
In summer, it is easier to choose a lighter rosé wine with a low alcohol content. As well as being refreshing, it is a perfect accompaniment to fine, fresh summer dishes, such as salads, shellfish or grilled meats.
Remember that it is not advisable to put ice cubes in a glass of rosé wine. Kept in the fridge at between 10 and 12°C, it will have an ideal tasting temperature.
ROSE WINE IS A RECENT WINE: FALSE
Let's take a little dip into history to discover the origin of rosé wine. It is not because it has only been a great success in recent years that rosé wine is a recent wine. On the contrary.
Rosé wine is finally considered to be the oldest of all wines. It is in the 3th It was in the 6th century BC that grapes began to be cultivated, and in 600 BC that the first vines were planted in Provence by Greeks fleeing Phocaea. It was from these vineyards that the first wines were made.
In ancient times, maceration did not last long, and the contact of the juice with the grape skin was so short that the wine took on a pinkish hue. The first wines were therefore very light, not to say "pink". But it was not until around the 14th century that people began to speak of "rosé wine", and 1680 that the term was included in the French dictionary.
Wine-making techniques improved greatly in the 17th century, allowing the creation of three distinct wines: red, white and rosé. Technically, we can say that rosé wine is the oldest of the wines.
ROSE WINE DOES NOT KEEP: TRUE AND FALSE
For the majority of Côtes de Provence rosés, consumption within 12 months of the vintage year is strongly recommended. This is because rosé wine, whatever its vinification technique (direct pressing or pellicular maceration), comes from a juice that has had very little contact with the pigments and aromas of the grape skin. Rosé wine is therefore low in tannins, a plant substance that contributes greatly to the ageing of a wine.
However, while most rosé wines do not keep for long, not all do. Many Côtes de Provence rosés are much better after a year or two of cellaring, or even longer.
This is particularly the case for rosé wines made by bleeding, which contain some juice from the vinification of red wine, and which therefore have a little more substance. This is especially true for rosé wines made from tannic grape varieties, such as Bandol, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon, or for rosé wines that have been macerated for a long time and matured in wood, in barrels or in tuns.
Preconceived ideas about rose wine tarnish the image of this quality wine. Rather than believe the rumours, make up your own mind by tasting the Côtes de Provence rosé from Château de Berne.