Renowned wine guru Jancis Robinson recently tweeted an article by Cher Lim on the consumption of Rosé wines in Asia. In her article, ‘Why Asia lacks Pinkos’, Cher makes excellent observations about how Rosé wines are perceived in China, Singapore and other Asian countries. The situation of Rosé wine consumption in India is similar to the rest of Asia. I believe that Cher’s observations about Asians’ perception of Rosé wines apply to Indians as well. To many new wine drinkers in India, wine is synonymous with red wine. Rosé is often perceived as feminine.
The best Rosé wines are dry and are made from an ‘abbreviated’ red wine method. The juice of the grapes is allowed to macerate on red grape skins for a short period to extract some colour and tannin. The blush or pink coloured juice is then pressed and separated from the skins and the fermentation continues. The result is a Rosé wine which is blush or pink in colour. These wines are best drunk chilled and are very refreshing. I consider good Rosé wines as an excellent option for the long, hot Indian summer. I also believe that their somewhat more robust structure than white wine makes Rosé wines an excellent and versatile companion to Indian food. Given that they are drunk chilled, these wines are often a better option than red wines for some spicy Indian dishes.
Another important factor that keeps Rosé wine consumption low in India is the lack of availability. Only a handful of imported Rosé wines are available in Indian importers portfolios. Of these, very few make it on to the retail shelves – some being available only in restaurants. Some Indian wineries are beginning to make Rosé wines. The next time you get a chance, give a Rosé a chance and make up your own mind about it!