After one of my recent rants about the appalling weather this April ( and yes it is still raining here ) my daughter in Hong Kong e mailed to say she was sitting near the beach, it was 28C and she and some friends were happily working their way through a second bottle of Whispering Angel . It was not a name I knew so I looked it up as I thought what a nice name for a wine.
and as you can see I discovered it is a rose from La Belle France and it gets rave reviews not only from my daughter but from plenty of wine critics as well.
Then today I read about rosé or rosato (as it is called in Italian) production in Italy and that Puglia accounts for 40% of that total rosato production. Italy now produces 20% of the total worldwide production, France is at 28% and America 15% and pink wines or blush as they were known in the 1980’s are very much where you want to be these days as sales are booming and not just on the beaches of Hong Kong.
Americans are drinking it by the bucket load. in fact in 2012 they passed France and Italy in total wine consumption weighing in at 324 million cases each year and they can’t get enough rosé down their throats.
It is the Generation Xcers doing the glugging. Now generation Xcers are people born from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1980’s and are as Professor Christine Henseler summarizes them “a generation whose worldview is based on change, on the need to combat corruption, dictatorships, abuse, AIDS, a generation in search of human dignity and individual freedom, the need for stability, love, tolerance, and human rights for all.” She seems to omit from that impressive list that of lobbing down vast quantities of rosé but trust me when they are not overthrowing dictators they are gathered in groups with several bottles of the stuff.
Pink wine in the States is IN in capital letters as it is in Europe and elsewhere and they drink it both fizzy and still. There is now plenty of pink Prosecco and other sparklers such as Mosceto. Pink fizz sales are up 11% year on year worldwide and an impressive 13% here in Italy . That is against a backdrop of tumbling Italian wine sales.
Way back in the heady 1970’s Italians were downing an average of 130 litres of wine a year per head of capita. Now when you think how few women here drank wine in the 1970’s and then you knock out the kids that is a fairly dizzy making figure to be fair. The average Italian male must have had a glass of wine in his hand almost 24 hours a day lucky fellow.
That figure has shrunk to just under 40 litres in 2011 and continues to sink though most of the decline is not in home consumption but in restaurant and bar sales. Wine in Italy is still the drink of choice at mealtimes at home. In the 1970’s looking at the total the meal must have included breakfast. ” A drop more red wine on your cornflakes darling?”.
It is mainly still pink wine that Puglia is concentrating on and in early May there is the first Rosato wine show down here in Puglia where producers can market their various products.
These guys do a wine tasting in the USA and feature a Puglian first off.
Notice they aren’t using a spittoon so I’m not sure how long into the video before they both drop under the table and the camera just keeps running but it can’t be long.
Rosé has certainly come a very long way since the 1960’s when I first downed some of the stuff. Wine was just becoming fashionable and it was important you were able to nonchalantly glance through a wine list and make a choice that was supposed to impress the girl you were with . It was therefore important that you knew the name of at least one wine so you could toss the list aside and turn to the waiter with a knowledgeable look and say…………
a bottle of your finest Mateus Rosé please !!!