They’re trying to ruin our beloved rose

rose The moral: That the wine business and the Winestream Media would ruin a cure for cancer with too much oak and alcohol

The following story is true, though I’ve changed some of the details to protect the innocent (and myself). And I barely exaggerated at all.

“I need a rose story,” said the magazine editor.

“Fantastic,” I said. “It’s good to see that rose is popular enough that you’re asking me to write about it. You know, I like to take just a tiny bit of credit for the rose boom, since I’ve been writing about it for so long.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” said the editor. “That’s wonderful. Here’s the premise of the story. Rose is so popular now that winemakers are improving the quality by making more expensive ones.”

“Wait a minute,” I said. “That’s not true. ….”

“What’s not true?” said the editor. “Expensive wine is always better. Where have you been?”

“But the whole idea of rose is that it’s cheap and tasty and you don’t need to spend a lot of money.”

“Yeah, if you want to drink a wine that doesn’t have any oak or is low in alcohol. Why would anyone want to do that?”

“I don’t understand,” I said. “Oak in rose?”

“What’s wrong with you?” asked the editor. “All wine should have vanilla flavors. I thought you were the expert. Don’t you even know that?”

“I’m missing something here,” I said. “Rose doesn’t need to be aged in oak or have 15 percent alcohol. It’s supposed to be fresh and light and new every vintage. Otherwise, it’s red wine.”

“And what’s wrong with that?” said the editor. “What about this, this, and this? Are you the only one in the wine business who doesn’t get it?”

Sigh. How many times have we heard that before?

4 thoughts on “They’re trying to ruin our beloved rose

  • By Bob Rossi - Reply

    Very funny and enjoyable. It brings to mind an experience I had many years ago. My wife and I were spending a week in a village in the Luberon, and there was a cooperative in town. We took a walk there, and tried their wines. They were all quiet cheap, and very enjoyable. Except for one of the roses; they decided to give a try at using oak in that rose, and it was dreadful. And I believe costlier than everything else.

  • By Paul Vandenberg - Reply

    While I am certainly not a fan of high alcohol, overoaked wines. I don’t think all rosés ( notice the squidgy bit over the e, not rose) should be cheap, simple, one dimensional wines.
    Stop the color bigotry! I signed agreements with my state and federal governments that I wouldn’t discriminate in order to become licensed.
    I’ve been making a barrel fermented, sur lies, dry rosé for almost 20 vintages. I use barrels with 10-30 years on them. We get the wonderful textural qualities without the “lumber”. It costs more. My customers like it. My wife likes it and I like it. We love it in January with smoked salmon, November with turkey, March with mushroom dishes, and August with potato salad and wood roasted chicken. And we don’t serve it cold.

    So, not oak in rose, but rosé done in barrel, two very different things.

    Salud, Slanché, Skoäl
    Paul Vandenberg

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      The editor was not talking about your style, I don’t think, Paul. He wanted full-throttle, 15.5%, it tastes liked red wine roses. Or, as one top rose producer told me when I shared this story, the kind of rose the snobs in Paris and the Hamptons drink.

      I’ve spent 20 years extolling the virtues of rose, and I will not go easily into the good night when someone wants to charge $50 for a wine that doesn’t taste like rose.

  • Pingback: Has the rose craze peaked? – MonTien News

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