What has happened to Rosé

In the last few years there has been an explosion in consumption of rosés in the US. As a result there has also been an explosion in the number and variety of rosés available. In general I applaud this. I like rosé and appreciate the availability of a wider range of wines.

I recently attended a tasting of around twenty five rosés. Retail prices ranged from just over $10/bottle to over $50. I enjoyed most of them but was mystified by one aspect. There appeared to be little to no correlation between quality and price. The most expensive wine was a French Provençal wine. They also made a less prestigious line, also from Provence for half the price. Side by side I couldn’t tell them apart. This happened again with a Provençal rosé made by a winery owned by a couple of American celebrities. It was bottled in a fairly distinct bottle. At the tasting was a different wine (once again at about half the price) bottled in the same bottle. Once again, side by side they tasted identical.

One of the wines, Whispering Angel has been touted as the best rosé in the world. It was fine but no better than other wines of that style that cost $10 less. The wines I liked the best retailed for between $14 and $23. Two were made by producers I know and respect. The other two were new to me.

My takeaway was that even more than with other wines, price doesn’t indicate quality in rosés. There are enough inexpensive rosés available for you to try some and drink the ones you like. Don’t be seduced by the prices or the hype unless someone else is paying.


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