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Long gone are the days where rosé wines were denigrated as a mere swimming pool drink. The last decade has seen the desire for rosé skyrocket, with the export of Provence wine increasing by nearly 500% in the space of 15 years, and Vins de Provence exporting nearly 62 million bottles in 2022. What’s more, France’s red wines sales are declining, as drinkers are turning to lighter, lower alcohol wines that can be drunk all year round. “In the 1990s we had the ‘French paradox’, where studies showed that red wine was good for your health. Now people, especially the young, are turning to rosé wines, which are easier to drink, contain fewer tannins and feel more festive,” independent winemaker Thomas Montagne, whose Luberon vineyard in southern France produces red, white and rosé wines, told the Guardian.

The result of the skins of red wine grapes (containing red colour pigments) only touching the wine for a very short period – sometimes just a few hours compared to red wines that ferment on skins for days, if not weeks on occasion – winemakers have complete control over the colour of their rosé wines. Provence’s signature pale onion skin colour has become synonymous with quality rosé and has spearheaded the rosé revolution, displaying notes of strawberry, watermelon, rose petal and celery with a strong mineral core. Despite South Africa’s fairly young rosé wine culture, our rosés are of an incredibly high quality, rivalling some of the best examples from around the world. South African rosés are subtle with pure fruit, a refreshing dryness and a savoury texture.

Regardless of shade, one thing is for sure – rosé wines make for excellent food pairings to a large variety of dishes, from fresh crisp salads to decadent seafood platters and hearty meat dishes. At Belthazar, we’ve got the perfect shade of pink to match any craving.

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