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Rosé All Day: A (Very Brief) History of Rosé Wine and Its Rising Popularity

We (and by we, we mean historians) can trace the first rosé back to ancient Greece, where it was made by mixing red and white wine together. Take this definition of rosé with a grain of salt, literally, as the Greeks also mixed wine with seawater - technically for preserving the wine, and it was also considered low class to drink wine without a little ocean mixed in. Please don’t mix your red and white wines - that does not make rosé - or any wine at all with the ocean, unless you’re swimming in it, in which case, we approve.


France picked up the habit of mixing (red with white, not wine with saltwater) and stuck with that until the 14th century when the region of Provence started producing an actual rosé wine by using just red grapes. They created what we now call limited skin maceration, which allows the skins to ferment with the juice for just a short bit of time - giving the wine its color - before removing the skins. This is how we get pink wine from red grapes. French royalty loved rosé and Provence is still one of the world’s most famous and popular producers - 80% of the wine they make is rosé.

It wasn’t long after the US became its own thing that we brought rosé over to our shores, with (no surprise) California leading the charge. Fast forward to the late 20th century and rosé had a tarnished reputation in the US, based on the overly sweet, poorly made juice drunk back in the 70s - apparently Queen Elizabeth and Jimmy Hendrix were fans (they probably didn’t drink it together) of the then popular brand out of Portugal, Mateus, which you can still buy for about $5 in Portugal. The US-made-rosé trend was helped along in the same decade by a young winemaker named Bob Trinchero. He wanted a more concentrated Zinfandel and bled off some of the juice to ferment it separately - voilá, rosé.

Like Trinchero, anything California does around wine, they do better and better over time and by the early aughts California winemakers started producing some really good rosés. Fine rosé wine is now a thing, a big thing. As a wine category, IWSR predicted rosé growth to rise to 70% percent between 2020 and 2024.
The shifting trends in food and how we eat has also helped the finer, dry rosés along. Their bright, crisp - and not sweet - taste profiles pair well with just about anything, but do better with our more Mediterranean-style diet than the heavier meat and three varieties of years past.

Full of light fruit notes like strawberry, lychee, watermelon, hints of grapefruit or lemon, rosé is living a moment of popularity, not just for summer, though it is the perfect summer picnic (or anytime) wine, but for winemakers and drinkers alike. rosé has made it and is here to stay. And of course, we know that any fine wine doesn't need to be in a bottle. That's why we make fine rosé boxed wine, delivered - better for the environment, better for you. 

National Rosé Day is just around the corner on Saturday, June 10, and we've been preparing, because what better day to rosé all day and up your rosé game. We've put together charcuterie and cheese board pairings, five perfect rosé cocktails and spritzers (think tequila and strawberries, gin and mint - not all in the same drink), how to cook with rosé (it's not just for drinking anymore), and the perfect rosé picnic.

Let us know how you rosé @drinkboxt.



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