As Phoenicians, we are all too familiar with the torture that it otherwise known as summertime in Arizona—your legs stick to the leather seats in your car, the pool becomes so warm it’s like bath water and air conditioning becomes your best friend. The big meals and red wines you’ve been consuming for the last six months no longer have their same appeal. Don’t get us wrong, we still drink red wine during the summer, plenty of it. However, on a day to day basis, we crave something lighter, more refreshing that will allow us to keep our palettes sharp. As sommeliers, we spend a portion of most days vetting wine, and, since red wine will fatigue a palette much quicker, we find ourselves craving the palette cleansing acidity that you find in a lot of white wines as well as rosés.
It’s hard to deny society’s recent obsession with rosé. It’s had a huge resurgence as of late and even celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon. Ever heard of Miraval? Yep, that’s Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s rosé. People are throwing rosé-themed parties, girls are seen donning ‘Yes Way Rosé’ shirts and they’ve even turned it in to a frozen beverage: Frosé. This beverage, which was once considered déclassé, is now the ultimate summer sipper. Whether it’s in cheap cans or high-end bottles, there’s no way around it. Rosé is wildly popular, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Why is it so popular?
However, as sommeliers, we find ourselves scratching our heads a little with this phenomenon. What can this new-found appreciation for something that other countries have had and loved for years be attributed to? Perhaps people have realized that rosé doesn’t mean white zinfandel and that not all rosé wines are sweet. Or, maybe the palate of the average consumer is simply evolving. As a society, we are moving away from sweeter-style wines and gravitating towards wines that are higher in acidity—crisper and more refreshing. Whatever the reason is, we like it; we’re here for it, and we want it to stay.
Winemakers around the world have also joined in on the rosé movement. Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, one of the most sought after and highly coveted producers of white Burgundy is making rosé and wine nerds everywhere are freaking out. The thing about rosé that makes it so versatile is that it can be made from any red wine grape. You could have something more common, like a rosé of pinot noir or something more obscure, like a rosé of terrano (a Slovenian grape that’s a member of the refosco family). Often times, wineries use their leftover grapes to produce the wine which makes it a viable and profitable product. There is a common misconception that rosé wines are made from blending a small amount of red wine in to white wine, however this practice is frowned upon by most in the wine community. The most common and widely accepted process of producing rosé is called maceration, in which the juice is allowed contact with the skins of the grapes for a very brief period of time, usually only a few days. The resulting product is a beautiful blush wine that over delivers in the glass for the lower price point that these wines usually find themselves at.
Rosé Week at Vinum 55
If you need any more convincing about our love for rosé, well, here it is. Every May, Vinum 55 dedicates an entire week to this glorious, thirst-quenching juice! Over the next month, we will be vetting close to a hundred rosé wines and picking out the very best that the 2017 vintage has to offer. During rosé week, you will have the opportunity to taste and purchase upwards of fifty rosés. The extravaganza will be held over three days, at all three locations. This event is the perfect opportunity for you to get stocked up on all your favorites before summer arrives. Mark your calendars, this is something you do not want to miss!
- May 9th at our Scottsdale location RSVP for Phoenix
- May 10th at our Phoenix location RSVP for Scottsdale
- May 11th at our Chandler location RSVP for Chandler