Top 10 rosé wine trends of 2020

Having sampled almost 200 rosés earlier this year, Patrick Schmitt MW brings his personal take on the category as he lists 10 pink trends that are taking hold in the rosé sector right now.

If I were asked to name one category of wine that has changed more than any other this century, I would say rosé. Not much more than a decade ago, this was a sector of the drinks market dominated by one style: semi-sweet, low-ABV pink wines from California, dubbed ‘blush’, when today, it is the repository for bone-dry, standard-ABV products, primarily from Provence. The swing to these delicate refreshing pink wines is so marked, that nowadays, if a rosé isn’t actually from Provence, it must at least look as though it is. And by that I mean that it must have the pale pink hue of poached salmon.

Indeed, if I were to line up all the some 200 wines entered into this year’s Global Rosé Masters – and you can view all the medallists here – you would see that there was little variation in their appearance. It didn’t matter whether the pink wine was from Rioja, England, or New Zealand, it looked as though it was Provençal.

But such standardisation in colour belies a diversification in taste. Rosé is now a varied sector, spanning the highly delicate to powerfully flavoured, the bone dry to extremely sweet, the cheap to luxury, the simple to complex, barrel-fermented, age-worthy wine. The samples may look the same, but the spectrum of taste in the rosé category is broader than ever.

Not only has rosé changed in terms of the dryness level demanded today, but also in terms of the interest it offers the wine lover. If pink wine was once a little one-dimensional, or considered frivolous, now it can still be fun, but also layered. It is also more global than ever. Such has been the success of the rosé category, most major producers and wine regions now have a rosé in their stable. And if they don’t, they probably should.

All this change makes The Global Rosé Masters more exciting to judge, and, for the wine buyer, more relevant than ever before. If one considers that the stylistic benchmark, and fashion setter – Provençal rosé – is a fixed area with finite supply, then one may need to look beyond this part of France to satisfy the growing international demand for rosé. But from where? And from whom? It is by sampling wines without any knowledge of their source – the key to The Global Masters approach – that one can best answer such questions, while also finding out the finest from Provence.

While you can view the top-performing rosés of 2020 by clicking here, below I’ve compiled 10 things that I learnt from this year’s Global Rosé Masters competition.

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