These wines, once disparaged as dull and anaemic, have been hotter than February for a decade, a climactic shift that shows no signs of letting up. Last year, three books on rosé were published, which possibly doubles the number of volumes on rosé in all of time.
As if to cement rosé’s evolution from trend to institution, Vogue now suggests the wine has over-saturated the summer market and is a fashionable bubble ready to burst.
When rosé crossed over to become a symbol of pleasurable summer living, it was time to beware.The wine industry sought to capitalise on rosé’s popularity by making more of it. A lot more of it.
Much of it is pretty dreadful, sped along the assembly line to be ready by late spring, yet short-lived enough to be dead by the end of summer. Ephemeral, but such pretty colours.
Nonetheless, for those who care, good rosés, made conscientiously, are out there. The best - the sort of rosés that can age and evolve like any other good wine - have risen in price.
While it pays to be serious about finding good rosé, it is also important not to be too serious when drinking it.
Serve it cold, but not icy - though if you do, it will warm up soon enough in the summer heat. Good glasses are pleasant though not essential; tumblers are fine, too.
Drink it with lunch. Drink it with dinner. Or drink it just for fun, inside or outdoors. Drink it on a rooftop or a deck, at the beach or by the pool. Or, if you are like me and cherish summers in the city when so many people leave town, enjoy it while listening to the blissful silence of empty streets.
The New York Times/African News Agency (ANA)