It’s finally happened. Try as you might, there’s no escaping it. You resisted hard, stuck to your IPAs and deliberately stayed as far away from ‘that fridge’ at your local bottle-o for as long as possible. But you couldn’t hide forever. No, in the end, the delicious allure of rosé gets catches up with us all.
Rosé (the pink one), which can be made in varying ways and to various degrees of sweetness and acidity, is the middle ground between a crisp, dry white wine and a light, fruity red, and despite first impressions, is far from just a drop for the indecisive or the female consumer. In fact, 44% of rosé sold in Australia now is bought by men, and the sales statistics show that growth is doubling year on year, making it one of the fastest growing product categories on the shelves of any bar or off-license.
Now, despite the effeminate colour, there’s good reason Australian males are turning towards a drop or two of the tasty liquid more than any other demographic – we as a country are bloody good at making it. While other countries enjoy it on the rocks as a light refreshment, or are accustomed to a sweeter, lower-ABV style of rosé, we down under give it the respect it deserves as its own category of wine and have carved out a niche for ourselves as one of the best producers of the stuff in the world. Now, while it’s not a grape variety in itself, that makes it all the more exciting, as it can be made from just about any red grape, or blend thereof, making the final products that sit on the shelf (or in the fridge) all appealing in their own right, with something for everybody.
Australian rosé is, generally speaking, impossibly easy to drink. Famed for its balance between red-fruit sweetness and restrained acidity, it makes for a perfect drop for long-afternoons around a BBQ, or to go with light, summery dishes, particularly seafood.
One of our favourites at the moment is this cheeky little vino from one of the Barossa Valley’s best vineyards, Jacob’s Creek. Le Petit Rosé, a nod to the French Provincial region whence the best rosé is traditionally assumed to hail, is exactly why this blushing genre of fermented grape juice is so fast-growing. With spicy, floral notes on the nose, a soft, mildly fruity front palate and a long, smooth finish rounded out with delicate acidity, it’s no wonder people everywhere are jumping on board the rosé train.
But you don’t need to know all of that. In fact, the less technical chit-chat the better. Rosé doesn’t exist to exclusively satisfy the tight-skivvy wearing wine boffins who fill the cities small bars and spend their weekends in the Yarra. It’s the peoples’ wine. It’s there to be drunk.
So, we’ve made our case for drinking the stuff and we’ve made it well – but how do you bring yourself to order it, we hear you mumble? The answer is: it doesn’t really matter. Whether you lie to the barman and say you’re getting a round for the girls, tell the bloke in the bottle shop that you’ll give it a go ‘just this once’ followed by a nervous chuckle, or take the classic apprehensive buyers’ approach and order a few bottles online, we know that you’re going to be waving the rosé flag proudly in no time, that is, if you’re not already.