According to 9 Somms: What Makes Rosé So Iconic?

The No. 1 rule of wine consumption these days is that there are no rules — and everyone from consumers to sommeliers to producers is benefiting from this changing tide. Consumers have been empowered to drink as they please (no matter the time of year); sommeliers to push boundaries when it comes to what they’re pouring, bringing in everything from sherry to orange wine to sour beers on the regular (no matter the dish on the table); and producers to evolve in their own ways as demand increases and growing conditions change. No wine has benefited more from this anarchy than the noble rosé.

Rosé, as a genre, has risen to prominence in a way we’ve never seen with any wine before — namely because there’s a rosé for everyone, for any situation. The pink spectrum spans from earthy and salmon-hued to tart and refreshing to fruity and aromatic — cementing its place on any dinner table, year-round.

This versatility in pairing makes rosé a true icon. Even long after Summer Fridays come to an end, beach towels and picnic blankets are packed away for the year, and tan lines start to fade, rosé has infinite opportunity. A spread of salmon gravlax for brunch is the perfect excuse to bust out a bottle of citrusy rosé from Côtes de Provence La Londe in the morning, no matter the time of year. For dinner, a veal chop crusted with hazelnuts, served alongside boldly fruity rosé from Coteaux Varois en Provence, would be the star of any dinner party — especially as the temperatures start to drop. And in these waning summer days, look to a salad of lobster and candied pink grapefruit with a glass (or two) of floral rosé from Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence for self- preservation.

As the undisputed home of premium rosé wine, Wines of Provence is doing its part not only to provide some of the best wines around, but also to provide credible, current, and proven insights into the much-talked-about iconic rosé wine category in an effort to go beyond trendy coverage and dig deeper into the core of the industry.

But Wines of Provence isn’t the only place you’ll find rosé as the star of the show. Sommeliers are putting rosé in the spotlight and in consumers’ glasses like never before. Leaders of their industry and always one step ahead of wine trends, we asked sommeliers across the country to weigh in on what they think makes rosé so iconic at this very moment.

“Rosé is really a crowd-pleaser. Its medium flavor profile is attractive to many different types of wine drinkers. And since it tends to be lower in alcohol, you can drink rosé all day (literally!) and it also makes for a great table wine to bring over for dinner parties or summer daytime events.” — Fabien Piccoli, Beverage Director & Sommelier, Antica Pesa (Brooklyn)

“Enjoying wine is all about our senses: sense of smell, sense of taste… But for me and my other sommelier and winemaker friends, we end up talking about two different senses when drinking rosé: sight and touch. Great rosé always has amazing texture that you just want to roll around and swish all day. It’s also pretty to look at.” — Michael Kennedy, Sommelier, Founder & Vintner, Component Wine & Vin Fraîche (Napa Valley, Bordeaux)

“I love rosé because it’s a year-round experience; a spring veggie pairing and a summer crusher. Rosé loves a fall poultry dish and it’s my winter comfort wine when I want something fun.” — John May, Cellar Distributing (Charlotte)

“For many years in North America, drinking rosé was mostly for women. Men shied away from it. With time, drinking rosé is more ‘acceptable’ to all genders. To me, rosé is a symbol of modern thought and open-mindedness. It doesn’t, anymore, say that you are “girly” or feminine — it says that you celebrate what you love regardless of its traditional social conventions.” — Rebecca Meïr-Liebman, Owner & Sommelière, Chef & Somm (Toronto)

“Provence is so iconic for rosé because it usually starts on a patio in the summer and everyone loves that. However, its versatility at the dinner table is what truly defines it for me. The myriad styles of rosé found in Provence keep me coming back and engaged with the region. I love pouring these wines.” — Kaleb Kiger, Head Sommelier, Lazy Bear (San Francisco)

“Rosé is one of my favorite categories of wine not only because it is an all-day, all-year kind of beverage for me, but also because of how much color, intrigue, and (sometimes) even controversy it brings. A well-made, balanced rosé can be great on its own, or perfect with food.” — Kavitha Raghavan, Owner & Sommelier, Indian Paradox (San Francisco)

“Rosé is so iconic because it’s associated with summertime, relaxation, and elegance. When I think of rosé, especially Provençal rosé, I think of someone staring into a Mediterranean view and a chilled, pale rosé in hand.” — Amy Racine, Wine Director, Times Square EDITION (NYC)

“The pale pink and tart to more firm, rosy styles give you the option to pair with a summertime barbecue to curing the wintertime blues with cured meats and cheeses. Provence is the cultural home of rosé and it remains the pink standard to which all other rosés will be measured.” — Alexandra Frederick, Sommelier, Francophile, and Hospitalitarian, at Vini e Fritti (NYC)

“The rosés of Provence are unlike rosé from any other region. They provide such structure and depth, while still being light and refreshing. Provence rosé pairs perfectly with chicken, seafood, and any fresh fruit and thus provides year-round enjoyment. I especially love Provence rosé for everyday use in my home state of Florida.” — Erika Moore, Wine Lead/Sommelier, 1000 NORTH (Jupiter, Fla.)

This article is sponsored by the Wines of Provence.