FAST FACT -  About Rosé Wine in Australia

FAST FACT - About Rosé Wine in Australia

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As a product on the boundary of being a red wine, rosé had a reputation of only being for those considered "uncultured swine." But these so-called uncultured people may soon become the dominant crowd if market figures are to be believed.

Data from wine pollster Cellarmaster indicates that rosé sales in Australia have grown by 15% since 2012.  The International Organization for Vine and Wine (OIV)’s 2015 Rosé Report also revealed that Australian rosé production had risen to 450% since the 2000s. These figures reflect an increased demand for rosé among Australians.

Nevertheless, liquor government agency Wine Australia still subsumed rosé under red wines for purposes of wine statistics, which may mean it still doesn't have a large enough market share to be considered a category of its own. But drinkers in Australia find rosé chic, versatile, and affordable, and it’s only a matter of time before it forms its own statistical group.

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Rosé preferences among age groups and genders

The OIV’s Rosé Report shows that 25-34 year-olds account for most of the rosé’s Australian fans, which forms part of rosé’s cohort of young drinkers globally. Millennials, in particular, drive the global hype.

While female drinkers in most countries such as New Zealand and France form a larger share of rosé consumers, in Australia, there is an equal preference for rosé between genders. The reason for this has yet to be determined.

History of Rosé production in Australia

No one really knows when rosé was invented, although what is probable is that the earliest red wines resembled rosé in colour and alcohol content. The technology used to produce red wines in ancient times was crude. Later on, people learned to improve their tools and techniques to create a deep dark colour that people associate with red wine today. Hence, it’s safe to say that rosé is red wine’s ancestor.

Throughout the ages, rosé was in the shadows of its darker-coloured derivative and was only consumed marginally. There was a brief period after World War II when wine drinkers experimented with rosé, but increasing competition from sparkly sweet wines such as the sweeter style zinfandel relegated rosé to the background.

But starting in the ’90s, rosé manufacturers in Australia and elsewhere renewed their marketing efforts to put rosé back in the spotlight, as far as people’s liquor choices are concerned. Rosé’s production statistics prove that those marketing efforts have borne fruit. Today, Rosé is being produced throughout all regions of Australia. Any red wine can make a Rosé it just come down to what style you think will suit you best (we certainly have our recommendations on this area as to what makes the best Rosé wines).

How Rosé is produced

As with red wine, rosé production starts with the picking of grapes that are then crushed manually or mechanically inside a vat. The grape berries’ skin and juice are left to react with each other for a few hours, commonly between four to eight hours to be precise before the skins are removed and the liquid is left to ferment on its own, without the grape’s skin.

The result is a lighter, pink colour. In the case of deeper-coloured red wines, the skin and juices are left alone for a more extended period. All wine colour is derived from the skins, so the longer the contact, the more colour extraction. Another technique some rosé manufacturers use is to blend red and white wines to produce a lighter rosé colour. But this technique is only allowed in the Champagne region in France. 

Rosé food pairings and drinking season

Since most of the world’s rosés were produced historically in Provence, France, it makes sense to understand the food that the people there pair with rosé. For the people of a French region found along the Mediterranean coast, rosés are best paired with seafood, spicy meals, hummus, and garlic-rich recipes. The zesty tang of rosé makes it perfect for the cuisine of warm, dry, and subtropical areas such as Provence, Greece, Central Australia, and Northern Mexico. In fact, rosé is best consumed in summer, when most red wines may prove to be too heavy and intense for that afternoon glass of wine. 

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The kinds of glasses used to drink Rosé

 Rosé wines have a subtler aroma than most red wines, which means you need a wine glass with a shallow bowl to get a sniff of rosé. But if the rosé you are drinking has aged more considerably, it will resemble the aromatic characteristics of white wine. In this case, you need to use a wine glass designed for white wines when you drink this kind of rosé. Keep in mind, Rosé wines are intended for drinking early and cellaring them is not advised as those fresh, appealing characteristic will deteriorate after two to three years and even early for some lesser quality styles.

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