Jill BarthTasteWines and Spirits of Provence

Exploring Why Rosé Matters, According To French Culture

I don’t think there is a topic I’ve covered more than rosé. Part preference, part probability, it seems only natural that a Provence wine specialist would document the past, present and future of vin trois, the third colour of the wine trinity.

Affiliations range from the “Hampton’s Water” lifestyle crowd to the “rosé all day, which turns all year” set to the “when in France, drink rosé” philosophy. But I’m here to argue, with the proud yet slightly guarded nature of the public defender, that none of these positions get that the root of what rosé really means.

Continue reading for Jill’s in-depth article on the history of pink wine in Provence, which began in the time of the Greeks and then the Romans. Indeed, the Center for Rosé Research (Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation sur le Vin Rosé) believes that not only is rosé a serious beverage but that this wine deserves a dedicated centre of study.

However, rosé is not exclusive to Provence. In her article, Jill mentions some of her favourite rosés come from appellations the Languedoc. Most, if not all, wine regions in France produce a rosé made from the local grapes.

Rosé Matters it is Not a Trend

Stephen Cronk of Mirabeau Wine argues that rosé should be taken seriously.

In this Provence WineZine post, Susan explains the complexity behind making rosé wines.

Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay tasted and reviewed 1,500+ bottles of rosés from around the world for her book Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution. Gabay reviews the history of winemaking in Provence and some traditional production areas. Within the book, she explains the production methodologies and how the “taste” for pink wine has grown in the last 25 years. (Please click on the cover below to order a copy).

Rosé: Understanding the pink wine revolution’

She is a sommelier, wine director, and author; her career is just starting! Victoria James lives in New York City, where she could barely legally drink when she became a Certified Sommelier at 21 years old, in October 2012. Read our interview with this talented lady here.

In her book, Drink Pink: a Celebration of Rosé, she debates whether rosé is simply a trend or a wine that has staying power for the long term. Her bet is in the long run, and the book is a delightful read, along with illustrations by her fiancé. (Please click on the cover below to order a copy).

Drink Pink Book Cover Victoria James

Millions of years ago, geological changes and volcanic eruptions created the Southern Rhone Valley. The soil varieties left behind from this violent environmental activity range from sandy to limestone to clay. This diverse topsoil, combined with bedrock, creates an excellent terrain for cultivating grape varieties. Here is more reading on the wines of Provence and understanding the colours and terminology.


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Jill Barth

Jill is a writer whose characters make wine, love wine, and live wine. Research for her forthcoming novel–the story of a Provençal winemaking family during the Second World War–has afforded her glorious pleasures: meetings with ambitious French vignerons, travel up and down France in bouncy Renaults, overnights in shuttered châteaux, and many hours as a student of wine with a glass to her lips. In this role, she not only enjoys her own relationship with wine but she also indulges in the life of the French winemaking family that inhabits the pages of her novel.

Jill writes about wine, travel and occasionally yoga (she’s a certified yoga instructor). Her fiction has been featured on NPR and has been published in several literary journals.

Her writings can also be found on her blog L’Occasion.

Follow along with Jill on twitter and instagram.

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