The Rise of Rosé

Three newly released wine books explore rosé and show its popularity is here to stay.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

You know a trend has come full circle when you find it printed on Old Navy merchandise. While shopping at the store last weekend, I found both a T-shirt and tote bag with the motto “Rosé All Day” written in a light, delicate pink color. Later, while perusing the clearance racks at DSW, I came across slip-on sneakers stamped with “Rosé” on one foot, and “All Day” on the other.

Over the last few years, rosé’s popularity has been steadily growing—and it shows no signs of stopping. According to research by the Nielson Co., sales of rosé in the U.S. grew by 56 percent last year.

Of course, Old Navy and DSW aren’t the first to capitalize on the rise of rosé wine. I’ve seen everything from cell phone covers to candles and nail polish flaunting the “Rosé All Day” motto. There’s also the online shop entirely devoted to rosé-lifestyle merchandise, Yes Way Rosé, which first started as an Instagram account (@yeswayrose) dedicated to sharing a passion for rosé. The account now has more than 41,000 followers.

I’ll admit that I love rosé, but not enough to wear it. I prefer to show my dedication by drinking it, celebrating it for the beautiful beverage it is.

Photo courtesy of publisher.

So does Victoria James, the 26-year-old New York sommelier whose book, Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé, was published earlier this month. In it, James explores her own unabashed elation for rosé, its history and the regions that produce it, America’s recent obsession with drinking pink, as well as the difference between quality, well-made rosés and those sweet bottles of White Zinfandel. To prove that the wide array of rosé styles are truly versatile, James offers rosé cocktail recipes, as well as snacks and sides to accompany an open bottle.

The 128-page book is full of wonderful illustrations, drawn by James’s boyfriend, Lyle Railsback, including labels and colorful maps, and a particularly charming depiction of Ernest Hemingway admiring a glass of pink wine. It’s possibly the most unpretentious wine book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot)—a book for the most passionate rosé enthusiasts and beginner wine lovers alike.

James’s Drink Pink is just one of several rosé books published this spring, a clear sign that rosé’s popularity is here to stay. Others include wine journalist Katherine Cole’s Rosé All Day, which is more of an encyclopedia and reference guide for buying specific bottles of rosé, and Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan’s general guide to rosé, Rosé Wine: The Guide to Drinking Pink.

This summer, scoop up one of these rosé books, and cool off with a glass of one of these recommended wines in hand:

Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris 2016, $15
Corbières, France

An elegant and serious rosé with notes of strawberries, watermelon rind and ruby red grapefruit, with a refreshing chalky minerality on the finish.

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses 2016, $16
Languedoc, France

A soft, pale pink rosé that is fresh and bright and smells like a bowl of wild strawberries. Great as an aperitif.

Corte Gardoni Bardolino Chiaretto 2016, $15
Veneto, Italy

A light and lively rosé with cranberry aromas and tart, vibrant acidity and spices on the palate. A perfect poolside wine.

Balletto Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016, $18
Russian River Valley, California

Deeper pink in color, this fruity and floral rosé is full of flavors of spiced cherries, tangerine juice and strawberries.

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