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Rev up your Rosé

Summer’s here and with it, peak demand for drinks that can be sipped leisurely in the sunshine with food, or by themselves.

High on the list of top selling summer tipples is rosé. Demand for rosé is at an all time high – Britons bought more than 100 million* bottles in the off-trade over the last recorded 12 months, so it’s certainly going to be a winner when eating out.

What is rosé wine?
Rosé wine is made from red grapes, where the grape juice is given minimal contact with the grape skins after pressing – six to 48 hours maximum. The longer the contact, the deeper the colour.

What’s the story?
Talk to your supplier about each wine’s provenance and back story. So, for example, the label on Familia Pasqua’s Rosé depicts Rome’s Romeo and Juliet Wall of Love. Can you think of a better wine to suggest to couples, or for special days?

The serve
Like white wine, rosé is best served in a medium sized glass so that the wine’s fresh and fruity characteristics can be enjoyed. If serving in a large glass, don’t over fill – you need to leave room so your customer can ‘nose’ the wine. Don’t serve rosé too cold. A good rule of thumb is that it’s best drunk 20 minutes after being removed from the fridge. In this regard, a wine sleeve is often better than an ice bucket, as it’s not as cold.

Your range
Rosé wines can be dry, medium or sweet; from almost white through to deep pink; alcohol content ranges from ‘virtuous’ through to a thumping 15% or more. They’re produced by countries across the globe. Given all of these facts, it’s important to offer your customers a choice.

France
It’s important to offer a rosé from Provence – it’s arguably the most famous producing area in the world and is a firm favourite, backed by the fact that in 2017, sales of Provence rosé increased by 76%. But look too at wines from Languedoc which tend to have more richness and body than their Provence neighbour; the Côtes du Rhône – where Tavel is a best seller, and the Loire Valley, where Rosé d’Anjou and Sancerre rosé hail from.

Italy
To cater for Prosecco lovers, it is important to stock an Italian sparkling rosé. Most will have been produced using the Charmat method, so look for a wine with good colour and provenance. Top producing areas are Sicily, where Nero d’Avola comes from, Puglia and the Piedmont, home of Gavi. Finally, look out for wines from Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo – the Appellation is exclusive to top quality rosé wines.

USA
America’s most famous rosé or blush wine is undoubtedly Zinfandel. Often labelled as White Zinfandel, in the past it’s typically been on the sweeter side, however, that is no longer the case. Nowadays, much of the top selling Zinfandel is drier and full of tropical melon and strawberry flavours.

South Africa
The quality and range of wines emanating from South Africa continue to improve and there are now rosé wines made with grape varieties most commonly associated with big, powerful reds. A great example is a Pinotage rosé from the Bon Courage winery. Dry, full of flavour and packing a 13.5% ABV, this is a fine example of what is available.

Australia
Many Australian wine labels reflect good times and sharing with friends and make for an arresting sight when on display behind the bar or in the fridge. If you can get your customers talking – you’re half the way to a sale.

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