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Posted: May 20, 2009

Everything’s not coming up Rosé

Is now the time to sock away your favorite Rosé?

Cathie Beck—The Wine Wench

So the European Union’s come up with quite the plan to maximize profits and increase market share in the Rosé wine industry. Traditional Rosé-making, it would seem, is bothersome, time-consuming and unnecessary.

The proposal suggests that the current method of allowing crushed red grapes to briefly ferment in their skins, and then separating the juice before the color fully imparts, is too much fuss and mess. Instead, the EU proposes, just pour some red wine into some white wine until it turns pink and package it, promote it and label the mixed stuff Rosé.

Ohhhhh … and are the French Rosé winemaking people mad. Accusations that include vulgarizing the Rosé and undermining its artistry are being heard around the globe. Old-fashioned winemaking, it would seem, is being threatened by so-called “New World” winemakers, who insist competitive global marketing is what drives the Rosé winemaking industry, not tradition.

One traditional Rosé winemaker in Provence, according to one report, is said to have remarked, “If you do this, why not allow people to make wine without any grapes at all? You could do it in a laboratory, with alcohol, water and artificial flavors."

"We are trying to save a certain style of winemaking and they (the EU) make more problems; they denigrate our profession," he added. "It's a scandal."

Of course, not every Rosé wine producer feels that way. Some larger producers suggest that Californians are to be credited for making Rosé popular, increasing the demand and thereby making a simpler “blending” method the answer to meeting the new demand. Marketing and overall improved quality of wines in general in the past few decades have also fed the increased awareness and consumption of Rosés.

Much like the encroachment of plastic wine bottle seals replacing the traditional cork-sealed wine bottle, the global wine industry is watching the potential change with a keen eye, wondering if economic forces will drive the inevitable adoption of the EU’s suggested blending process. However, the French Rosé winemaking industry has presented such fierce resistance, the vote for the change, originally scheduled for January, has been delayed until June.

Another wine producer suggests that Rosé lovers won’t stand for the break away from traditional Rosé-making methods.  "Consumers are less and less easy to fool,” he said. “They look for a good quality-price ratio. When one vulgarizes and subindustrializes the product, the quality goes down." 

So, it would appear, now is the time to buy up cases of your favorite Rosé and sock it away in the cellar. This time next year you could be drinking a Chianti mixed with a Gewürztraminer. I’d recommend being suspect of anything labeled, “ReisAnti” or “Chiantraminer.”

You get the picture.

One winning wine tasting

The Children’s Hospital Sixth Annual Wine Auction and Dinner

One Saturday, June 13, The Wildlife Experience, located at 10035 S Peoria St. in Parker, will host The Children’s Hospital Sixth Annual Wine Auction and Dinner.

The event was created as a means for the volunteers to contribute to the fundraising efforts of The Children's Hospital. There will be auction items from Cakebread, Raymond, BV, Flora Springs, Rombauer, Sterling, Chimney Rock, Artessa, Far Niente and Joseph Phelps wineries. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event winds down at 11 p.m. Tickets are $150. For further information, contact Anna Villarreal at 720.777.1729 or

Coming June 12

Fresh White Wines for Summertime

As our food choices lighten up for the hot summer months, wine choices tend to lighten up as well. Beyond the Riesling and Chardonnays, there’s a plethora of white wines designed to accompany grilled seafood, chilled soups and warm evenings in the backyard.

Summertime victuals — from chicken to green beans to sliced tomatoes and fruit — can be balanced with wines that help celebrate summertime food flavors and textures. We’ll look at wines that compliment, rather than overwhelm, the summertime easy wine drinkin’ days.

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Cathie Beck, a/k/a The Wine Wench, can be reached at: Please forward any and all wine events, wine-related news items directly to her.

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