Memorial Day weekend is here, the official start of summer. Time to break out the beach chairs, fire up the barbecue, and plug in the blender for those special summer sippable sensations! If you’re a wine drinker, then you probably join millions in the summertime switch to Rosé.
Rosé has long been a seasonal wine favorite from South Hampton to the South of France, earning it nicknames like “Hampton’s Gatorade” and “Summer in a Bottle.” A friend and NYC talent agent Sarah recently joked that “Rosé wine is guzzled all day like water in Cannes” as we chose a bottle to accompany our grilled fish dinner.
Americans and the French are The World’s Wine Enthusiasts. The U.S. wine market is the largest in both volume and value (Nielsen, 2017.) Some 120 million Americans drink wine. According to the Wine Market Council, Millennials and Baby Boomers are the biggest wine consumers. The Provence region of France used to be one of the few recognized Rosé-producing areas, with a 64% share, but the times are a-changing and tastes are a-shifting. Together, France and the U.S. consume over half of the 594.4 million gallons of Rosé wines produced globally. According to USA Trade Tasting, the U.S. is ranked third in the world as a producer of Rosé wine.
In fact, USATT reports that the only sector of the U.S. wine market that is growing faster than the “premium dry rosé” category is the “(sweet) red blend.” Nielsen reports that, while Rosé accounts for about 1.5% of the dollar value and 1.1% of the volume, this demonstrates a 49% increase from the previous year by volume. U.S. imports of this wine continue to rise as American consumers spend more per bottle and their choices change from sweet to drier Rosés.
What’s not to love about Rosé? Rosé wines are light, refreshing, fun to drink, and easy on the wallet with the average bottle selling for about $10. They have low acidity, no heavy tannins to make your mouth dry, and are the most beautiful pink color. Rosé pairs well with lighter food choices and it’s great for mixing in frozen drinks like last summer’s rave, Frosé, or Frozen Rosé.
There are many variations of Frosé to try. Pinterest has dozens of recipes pinned for your scrutiny. You are only limited by your imagination and freezer space. Manhattan’s Bar Primi debuted their slush machine version last summer to great fanfare and it includes a dry Rosé, strawberries, and vermouth.
Other recipes have called for making simple syrup, substituting raspberries or watermelon for strawberries, incorporating fresh herbs, adding lemonade, using grenadine and even kicking it up a notch with more liquor like vodka, Limoncello or Campari. The basic rule of thumb is to use the flavors you like. Below is a simple recipe that won’t take you hours to make. It will quench your thirst on the hottest days and you’ll definitely impress your happy hour guests.
1 lb. hulled strawberries, frozen (except for 4-6 for garnish)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
Juice of 1 lemon
1 (750 ml.) bottle of your favorite dry Rosé
- Pour your Rosé wine into either ice cube trays or a 9 x 13 pan. Let it freeze for at least 8 hours for a slushy consistency.
- Mix together sugar, water, and lemon in a pan on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently until thickened into simple syrup. Allow to cool before using.
- Add frozen strawberries, Rosé cubes, and simple syrup to a blender.
- Pulse the blender until slushy.
- Pour into a glass and garnish with a strawberry. Cheers!
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