Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Taking Pink Seriously

If you thought pink wine meant wimpy stuff think again. If it's coming from Provence, they are taking their craft very seriously. A recent whirlwind visit sent a band of wine nerds crisscrossing the region, swirling, sniffing and usually spitting. Sure, Provence wines evoke sun and idyllic wanderings. But while you are lounging in St. Tropez at Cafe de Paris (okay maybe some of that went on too) the expert vignerons are toiling away.

At the Centre du Rose there is a laboratory devoted to analyzing, defining and cataloging all things pink. Charts, graphs, and gradient color analyses are their raison d'etre. They make small test batches of wines there, using grapes from various sites, and constantly evaluate quality, style, and ways to improve.

According to Francois Millo, Director of the CIVP, only about 15% of Provence AOC wine makes it to the U.S. That's something they are working hard to change. And while Monsieur Millo is focusing on the pink, don't discount the reds and whites. Can you find them at your local wine shop? Probably not. So it's up to the U.S. consumer to ask for them.

The trip wasn't all business, of course. After all, it's Provence in September. Who wouldn't be full of Joie de Vivre?

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