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Monday, June 18, 2018

‘Girly’ coloured wines: by John Rozentals

I’ve constantly been surprised at how Australian consumers treat wines that are pink in colour.
Have they been avoided in male company because our ‘blokey’ culture somehow rates pink as a ‘girly’ colour. I fear so.
And our winemakers probably haven’t helped over the years by delivering so many pink wines with residual sweetness, I guess in the belief that the same ‘girls’ who adore pink will also go for something sweet.
The same bias certainly doesn’t apply in southern Europe.
Walk into any restaurant in the south of France during warmer months and you’ll probably see half the customers – in mixed-gender groups or single-sex groups quaffing rosé – dry rosé – by the carafe.
And that’s the way it should be here in Australia, where the climate in many places absolutely lends itself to this sort of drink, and good heavens, perhaps even with a couple of ice cubes thrown into the glass.
Thankfully, there’s availability on quite a scale.
Much of it seems to come, at ridiculously low prices, from Provence and nearby areas, the southern French home of rosé.
How they manage to grow the grapes, make the wine, bottle it, then ship it half way round to Australia, then sell it for sometimes as little as $10 a bottle simply staggers me.
There’s quite a bit of Australian stuff available, too, though some of it is still sweeter than it should be.
All I can do is to urge as many Australians as possible, including the blokiest of blokes, to follow the lead of so many of their compatriots at the Sydney Test match and to embrace pink as just as manly a colour as red or blue.
Try having a glass or two of dry rosé with a plate of prawns as you sit on the deck. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy the experience and not find it the slightest bit girly.
Gerard Bertrand Cotes Des Roses Rose (about $20): This takes its name from the strip of coastline between the Provencal towns of Narbonne and Gruissan.
The crystal stopper and clear bottle with rose-shaped bottom make it a great gift. It’s fresh and full-flavoured and a delightful summer drink.
Torresella Pinot Grigio Rose (about $11): You’ll have to cross into Italy’s Veneto region to find the origins of this onion-skin-coloured, refreshingly dry wine which is great on its own and the perfect accompaniment to a spring/summer barbecue.
Ripe pinot grigio (aka pinot gris) carries quite a bit of skin colour and seems well suited to making this style of wine.
Arrogant Frog Ribet Pink Syrah Rose (as little as $10): You have to admire a Frenchman who takes on the world with a brand proclaiming the ‘Arrogant Frog’ and greets his customers with the word ‘ribet’.
A lot of Mas’s winemaking and marketing techniques reflect the Australian way and he’s led very much from the front in bringing Languedoc out of the wilderness. It’s a lovely salmon-pink colour, light and dry on the palate, and very more-ish.
– John Rozentals

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