It seems as if blush wines have flooded the market here over the last four or five years with Rosé, Rosato, Rosado, and more stacked high in wine shops and supermarkets from May until September. This is a far cry from fifteen years ago when the casual wine drinkers here were still repelled by blush wines, a negative reaction to all that white Zinfandel from the late1980s. As a result, a relatively small number Rosés from the South of France predominated, and those who knew the secret of French pink wine were able to buy all they wanted for $12 to $15 with only one or two approaching $20 in some parts of the country. I came to drink a lot of Mas de Gourgonnier Rosé from Les Baux De Provence and Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé, the latter of which could still be purchased for under $19 when I moved to Seattle in the late nineties.
When the Dollar collapsed against the Euro, the prices for my favorites began to rise precipitously. At about the same time a lot more people in this country realized that well made pink wine was ‘real’ wine after all, and higher demand for these limited production wines created a certain amount of scarcity. When the Domaine Tempier began to approach $30, I began to search for substitutes - it would eventually approach $40. Fortunately the increased demand meant more imports, and I think it encouraged more wine makers to produce simple blush wines, many who had no real clue. At first I gravitated to Rosé from the Loire, mainly 100% Cabernet Franc, and it was either hit or miss, at every price point. I eventually tried blush wines from Spain, Italy, and here in the USA, more often than not single varietals or two grape blends with more misses than hits.