Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pretty in Pink: The Wines of Provence

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend the Wines of Provence at L'Ermitage BeverlyHills Rooftop Terrace a few weeks ago hosted by the Wines of Provence (aka Vins of Provence)!

Provence, located on the southern coast of France, is the birthplace of dry rosé and is recognized gold standard of this coral colored drink.  Eighty-eight percent of all wine produced in Provence are rosés.  Which is a big deal as rosés outsell white wines in the country of France. 

Ever since the Greeks first brought wines and vines to the Marseilles area, 2,600 years ago, the people of Provence have been dedicated to the art of rosé winemaking.  The landscapes aggressive sun, Mistral winds, and patchwork of terroirs made the region exceptionally well suited to growing grapes.  In the centuries since, Provence has set the standard for high-quality rosé.  Today it is home to the world’s only research center devoted to rosé wine.  
One of Provence’s most vital environmental components is the Mistral wind. Icy cold in the winter after having sped across the Alpine snows, it can also be refreshing during the long hot summer months. Although it can be violent and capricious, the Mistral does nonetheless have one noteworthy quality that is important for Provence's vineyards: it is extremely dry, which protects the vines from illnesses caused by excess humidity.
Among Provence rosés, you’ll find a variety of styles – some lighter, some fuller.  But overall the wines are all tend to be fresh, crisp, and dry; a pink Provence rosé is by definition is not sweet.   By contrast, the typical America blush wine (our sweeter, also pink, wine) contains almost seven times as much residual sugar per liter (gross, gross, gross…).  So it’s not surprising that Americans have sought out Provence’s rosés.  For the 11th consecutive year, exports to the USA have grown at double-digit rates.  We’re also the number one importer of Provence rosé wines.  

Authentic rosés are made from red grapes, which have dark skins and white flesh.  As they’re crushed, the grapes release a pale juice that quickly takes on some color and tannins from the dark skins (the pulp doesn’t emit any color).  The color of a rosé wine will then depend on the duration and temperature of the contact between the grape juice and the skins (the maceration time).   Traditional Provence rosé grape varieties include: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Carignan, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  

Some fun pink wines we explored while at L'Ermitage included Château de Brigue’s Signature ($17), Château Réal D’Or Rosé ($12), Domaine Terre de Mistral Rosé ($12), Château D’Esclans Garrus ($85). 

All absolutely pretty in pink, pink wine that is!

PS If you've read to the end you get another fun fact: In Provence most red wine is made on concrete tanks!  

No comments:

Post a Comment