Rosé has become one of the UK’s most loved choices of beverage, with spending amounting to £780m last year alone, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. This surge in popularity across the board has proved troublesome for the production of the blush beverage. “The threat to rosé supplies started in the winter of 2017-2018 with an unseasonal peak in out-of-season demand, even during the ‘beast from the east’,” said Charles Cutteridge, a wine buyer at Majestic. The problem is bigger than that; global wine production dropped to the lowest it’s been in over 50 years in 2017 following both the devastatingly hot and cold weather tearing through vines across Spain, France and Italy, debilitating the world’s top three winemaking regions.
So, we look to other sources for our favourite blushy beverage hit…
This has forced consumers to look closer to home for their wine, seeing a dramatic increase in UK based producers. Chapel Down, based in Kent has been one of the leaders in this field, stocking restaurants such as OXBO Bankside with their Chapel Down Vintage Reserve Brut Rosé. The Sparkling English Rose is a very easy drinking drop. Light fruity nose of lemon, with lots of fresh red berry flavours and a slight creaminess that rounds the drink effortlessly.
When Whispering Angel arrived on the market in 2014, Wine Enthusiast named Chateau d’Esclans the European Winery of the Year, making it an instant hit. Its subtle fruit notes and the crisp dry finish is able to achieve both cachet and mass appeal. “It is a fun product and I think, a real movement,” says Sacha Lichine, owner of Chateau d’Esclans*. This instagramable vino is only just starting to make its ways onto our high-street restaurant wine lists, such as Go-Viet, a modern Vietnamese restaurant from ex-Hakkasan chef Jeff Tan in London’s South Kensington.
The gorgeous Côtes de Provence Rosé also sits alongside a similar example, the Cuvée Florette, in The Plough SW11. This Florette is has been plucked from the Berkmann Wine cellars, a wine supplier working with over 1,400 wines, that are one of many incredible companies bridging the gap between the producers and consumers. They are establishing a great offering of Rosé from all across the world, bringing wines from a huge range of producers to our table to give consumers a real opportunity to learn and broaden their horizons.
Rosé is now challenging our predefined ideas that it either has to be a light crisp Provence style, or a luminous, fruity, Californian Zinfandel. Far more interesting options are appearing on the market from much further afield. Burgenland, Austria is home to the new-wave producer, Tschida, whose experimental approach is twisting the perceptions of what wine is and can be. Wines like his are becoming increasingly accessible, with the 10 Cases restaurant in Covent Garden playing host to Tschinda’s Rosé, a juicy, light Cabernet Franc. Experts now recommend chilling the lighter reds to hit the same mark, an alternative option that is proving incredibly popular, with consumers turning to anything similar in light of the recent shortages.
And here are some great spots to find a little taste of everything…
- Les 110 de Taillevant London
A classic French restaurant in central London that pairs 4 wine options at different price points for every single dish on the menu.