This weekend marks London’s first festival dedicated to the pink drink. From 3pm today the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch welcomes rosé drinkers alike over the course of the weekend.
In the last 5 or so years, rosé sales have skyrocketed across the United Kingdom. In part due to the rise of the ‘frosé’ and brosé phenomenon of rosé-loving men. If you wind back the clock 10 years, rosé was nothing what it is today. Men wouldn’t have been seen dead on the end of a pink stem and production techniques hadn’t evolved for the best part of a century.
Come 2017 and things couldn’t be more different. Merchants fridge’s are full of the stuff and every second sister is chugging down Provence at BBQ’s like it’s liquid gold. Hats off to wine makers as they have really transformed what was once a slightly bitter version of red current juice into a glass of something akin to the holy water.
If you plan to head down to the Geffrye Museum and you are in need of a bit of back pocket chat, then listen up.
Rosé is made using a simple technique called Maceration. In this process, the winemaker will leave the skins of red grapes in contact with the pressed grape juice for a period of time that can vary between 4 to 36 hours. The length of the contact with skins will determine the final colour of the wine; that’s why we have so many different types of rosés from very pale examples to deep pinks.
For red wine styles, the skins will be left in contact for a lot longer in order to increase the depth of colour (to ruby/garnet) and introduce tannins and complexity to the wine. The amount of time the skins are left in contact will vary here depending on what the wine maker is trying to do with the wine style. When considering buying a rosé, expect flavours of strawberries, Skittles, melon, rhubarb and Turkish delight.
The most famous grape varieties that are used to make rosé wines are Grenache, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. However, the winemakers can choose any black grape variety to make rosé. Blending different black grapes is the most common practice to create this delicious style. In order to achieve this fresh profile, the wine producers will normally use stainless steel vats and not oak barrels to keep the pure aromas and flavours of the grapes instead of adding new oak notes like nuts, toast or vanilla.
Rosé wines are fantastic partners for light meals. The structure of these wines are great to match with food because they have refreshing acidity, red fruit character and the absence of any oak treatment which will make them always a light bodied wine. Hence, salads, goat cheese, fish, seafood, vegetable soups, quiche and fruits-based desserts will be a perfect pairing for Rosés.
The most well-known region producing rosé in the world is Provence in the South of France. Another spot is the Languedoc-Roussillon, also in France, although expect some Italian, Spanish and Portuguese producers on show at the Geffrye who also make great juice.
In total there will be roughly 30 winemakers showcasing some their finest hooch, sharing their knowledge on the methods used to produce the unique characteristics of rosé so you can get clued up before you drink up. Most producers will have a selection of rosé champagne and wine, however, there will also be ciders, vermouths, prosecco and sparkling wines on tap if you have been dragged there by your partner or friend and rosé is not your thing….yet.
The Savage Vines team like their rosé and some of their favourite producers are Mirabeau, Chateau Leoube and Pascal Jolivet. If you see any of these at the Geffrye then make sure you stop by for a chat and sample some of their handy work.
Food wise, there will be a selection of hand-picked British food vendors on site throughout the weekend. And in between tipples you can expect the likes of operatic performances, jazz bands and DJ’s to keep you entertained.
If discovering new wines is your thing, head on over to www.savagevines.co.uk and sign up to our weekly Savage Times newsletter. We are launching a wine subscription in late August which will deliver you 3 killer hand-picked wines a month. Members will also get great deals with restaurants, on winery accommodation, travel packages, food pairing recommendations and much more. In the meantime, the team will keep you in the loop on all things Wine, Food, Music and Travel…. and rosé of course.
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