With its crisp, refreshing flavors, rosé has become a summer staple for many. Learn all about this delightful wine from the owner of Crystal Palate Wine & Gourmet, Crystal Cameron-Schaad.
The Wine of Summer
Rosé is the quintessential wine of summer. It pairs beautifully with lazy days on the porch, picnics by the beach, and just about every type of cuisine from salads to seafood to picnic fare and grilled meats. You really can’t go wrong with a rosé wine!
As a category, it represents the fastest-growing market segment for U.S. wine valued at more than $200 million a year. Many celebrities are heavily investing in this space. From Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Miraval collaboration in Provence with the renowned Chateau Beaucastel family to Jon Bon Jovi’s Hampton Water in New York to Sara Jessica Parker’s newest release, Invivo X, from Southern France. Popular hashtags #roseallday and #yeswayrose have been trending for a few years now.
Once relegated to the sweet and cheap category thanks to such brands as Mateus and Sutter Home, dry rosés now dominate the worldwide market. In the 1980s, White Zinfandel was one of the most popular drinks in America. However, many fine dining establishments wouldn’t dare serve a pink concoction to their guests until the past decade. Call this the rosé renaissance.
Rosé Wine in History
From a historical perspective, rosé was the beverage of choice for centuries. It was likely one of the first wines ever made. In the 8th Century BC, Greek God Amphictyon mixed water with red wine to dilute the beverage to temper consumption among his councilors. By the 19th century, rosé was the symbol of glamour and leisure along the coast of Southern France.
France, Spain, Italy and the U.S. account for approximately 80% of rosé wine production. The South of France contains two of the most historic places for rosé: Provence and Tavel. The Provencal style is lighter and more elegant with citrus, red fruit, and a backbone of salinity thanks to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Tavel is affectionately coined the original Brosé as it was the preferred thirst quencher of writer Ernest Hemingway, King Louis XIV, and Philippe IV. Tavel is deeper in color than its neighbor and tends to have more concentrated flavors and higher alcohol.
Different Rosé Varieties
Most rosé is produced from black grape varietals. The color comes from skin contact. The longer the maceration on the grape skins, the deeper the color. Blending white and red wine is a technique that is rarely used today and is actually illegal in some regions. Stylistically, rosé comes in a rainbow of hues from pale salmon to fuchsia and a variety of flavor profiles from bone dry to sweet.
If you love a crisp, refreshing white wine or a lighter style red, you’ll fall in love with rosé too. For the most part, rosé shouldn’t age. You should enjoy them within 2 years of the vintage date.
Look for this summer sipper in a variety of packages too. From 3L boxes to cans or traditional bottles, the quality proposition is getting better each year for alternative packages. They are convenient, portable, and perfect for those on the go!
When it comes to pairing ideas, lighter-bodied rosés like those coming from Provence tend to pair best with salads, shellfish, and goat cheese. Off-dry styles like an Anjou is magical with spicy cuisines like Indian and Thai. The kiss of residual sugar tames the spicy notes in the dish. Fuller-bodied rosés like Tavel work incredibly well with BBQ and burgers.
Want to diversify your rosé repertoire? Try Crystal’s Curated Rosé Collection this summer. The collection includes six selections from around the world for $125. The package includes tasting notes and pairing ideas.
Crystal Cameron-Schaad owns Crystal Palate Wine & Gourmet (a wine boutique and education center) located in the beautiful coastal community of East Beach in Norfolk, Virginia.
Crystal is a Diploma graduate with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) out of London. The DipWSET credential is considered the gold standard for the international Wine & Spirits trade. Only 10,000 wine professionals have earned this accolade worldwide since the program began in 1969. She is also a nominated wine educator with WSET and is now offering professional WSET courses in Hampton Roads as a satellite provider for the Capital Wine School. Crystal is also a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, a keynote speaker, and podcast host of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. Crystal is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers and the Society of Wine Educators.
Before pursuing her passion for the fruit of the vine, Crystal served as a national public relations director for a Fortune 500 company, communications director on Capitol Hill, and spent more than a decade working in the broadcast industry as a news anchor and political reporter.
When she is not exploring the world of wine, she enjoys volunteering. She volunteers for the Virginia Chapter of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and served as the LLS Chapter Chair.
Crystal is an avid reader and loves to travel to wine regions around the world and spend quality time with her husband, WAVY-TV 10 news anchor, Tom Schaad, and her sweet Golden Retriever Sophie.