Are we all wrong about drinking rosé?

Stop me if you've heard this before: You're at a party. There is a bottle of rosé wine in the ice bucket. You pour something into a plastic cup, get distracted by a plate of food, and promptly forget about your cup. When you look back 15, 20, 35 minutes later, the uplifting, bright sunshine in your mouth has become...bland. Warm. It's as refreshing as a previously cold towel being unrolled, rubbed over someone's face, and then thrown on the floor.

That's basically what happened to me recently, after a glass of Whispering Angel that had been left in the sun for too long. I found myself wondering: Are we all doing this wrong by drinking rosé?

Indeed, rosé is everywhere: at Whole Foods, at your local bar, and in glasses the size of fishbowls on reality TV shows. According to reports, sales in the United States are growing at a rate of 30% to 50% annually, dwarfing the once quirky niche category. For example, in 2005, a total of 27,000 cases of rosé wine were sold in the United States, said Eric Hemer, director of wine education at Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, the largest distributor of wine and spirits in the United States. "Last year, 2.5 million cases of rosé were sold," he tells Bustle. "That's almost a 100-fold increase."

Rosé wine has grown in popularity during the warmer months, with Americans spending $216 million on rosé wine last spring alone, according to NielsenIQ. “We sold more Whispering Angels in April than we did last August, which is typically the biggest month for rosé,” Hemer said.

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Lisa Vanderpump, formerly of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, has become the de facto spokesperson for Rosé.

Rosé wine may seem like a new phenomenon, but its history actually goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. "They blend white wine and red wine together to make a rose-colored wine," Heimer said. "They don't want to drink strong red wine in the hot summer." Today, the traditional production method relies on "skin contact", that is, the red grapes are crushed, and the naturally clear juice remains in contact with the grape skins for a short time, from several After hours to days, color and tannins are extracted before the peels are removed.

While much of the world's most prized rosé wine is produced in Provence in southern France, a hotspot closer to home is the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy. As we all know, St. Barts is technically part of France. The currency is the euro, the language is French, and the wine is the color of the sunset across the sky. In search of the best way to drink rosé, I traveled to tropical Provence.

“We have rosé to go with everything,” a sommelier who works at the luxury hotel Le Barthélemy told me. “Salads, fish, meat, cheese – there’s nothing that rosé wine can’t pair with.” One of Le Barthélemy’s most-ordered brands is Love by Léoube, an export from the Côtes de Provence department whose logo looks like it’s handwritten . Bright and crispy, the sommelier said, it's the perfect accompaniment to poolside nacho shrimp. (After ordering the combo four times in four days, I have to say he was right.)

At the Nikki Beach Saint Barth day club, frequented by the likes of Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani, rosé is very popular. So popular that they sell it in 3-liter bottles called Jeroboams. (One bottle of Jeroboam is equivalent to four regular bottles of wine. Hello, hangover.) "We worked with brands to create the biggest ice buckets possible," said Jerome Delamaire, the club's general manager. "Twenty-plus years ago, when I came here, Americans only drank white wine. Now, rosé is No. 1."

Below, experts share five tips on how to drink rosé right this summer or year-round (at the dealer’s option).

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1. Calm down

Hemer recommends drinking rosé wine at 45 degrees Fahrenheit. "Cold, but not icy," he said. (For reference, experts recommend drinking white wine between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit and red wine at a warmer temperature of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.) If your rosé wine is colder than this, you won't be able to taste it Some of the flavors, such as strawberry in the case of Whispering Angel, are also fresh vanilla, Haymer says.

2. Pop the top off...and put it into something else

Canned rosé wine has boomed in recent years. Think Nomadica, a sparkling rosé; Hogwash, a 24-pack perfect for parties; and Avaline, an organic rosé made by Cameron Diaz. But the triumph of sustainability and portability comes at the expense of your palate, as the pop-top doesn't allow the wine to breathe and prevents your nose from participating in the tasting game. So no matter what container your rosé comes in, it should be opened and poured into a stemmed wine glass, ideally "so your hands don't get warm while holding the rosé," He​​​ mer said.

In a pinch, a reusable plastic cup is better than a can or drinking straight from a bottle, as both can suppress your sense of smell. (Take this from someone who once chipped a front tooth while drinking a bottle of champagne: It's not worth it.)

3. Pairs with everything under the sun

The old saying goes that white wine goes with fish and red wine goes with meat. Rosé doesn’t follow any rules. "If I had to have an all-purpose go-to wine, I would choose rosé over white or red," Heimer says. “It spans a variety of traditional food styles and pairs well with meat, poultry, fish. If you can’t decide what to pair with it, pair it with rosé.”

Savory lovers, rejoice: Rosé wine pairs particularly refreshingly with salty snacks like nuts, olives, hummus, guacamole, and savory cheese boards.

4. Go into double digits if you can

“There are a lot of rosé wines that retail for around $10,” says Hemer, “but the better quality wines are often $20 and up.” What else should you be looking for? Origin: If the label mentions Provence or any of its appellations, such as Côtes de Provence or Bandol, then the wine comes from a good place—at least according to critics. If your taste buds prefer elsewhere, follow them.

5. Frosé…absolutely good

"It's the modern version of sangria," Heimer said, referring to the popular sangria made from rosé wine, ice and sometimes vodka, meaning it's a lighter wine than an old-fashioned wine. and fruit wines for a stronger punch. "We offer it, but I'm not a huge fan of it," Delamere added with a shrug. "At the end of the day, it's about what you want to drink, what makes you happy, the people around you and the atmosphere. It's just a great experience." Cheers to that.