Anyone who reads or researches rosé has probably consulted the writings of Elizabeth Gabay MW. She is the author of Rosé: Understanding the rosé wine revolution and his highly anticipated new book Rosés from the South of Francewritten in partnership with Ben Bernheim, is now available.
Bernheim is the son of Gabay, a 20-something sommelier, writer and wine industry veteran who returned to the family home in eastern Provence at the start of the pandemic. During this time he started working with Gabay, researching and tasting wine. Over the months, the duo had tasted around 1,000 rosé wines and documented tasting notes for 850 of them, all from the south of France. These notes have become a digital guide.
“But at the end of the guide, we discovered that we had more questions than answers,” says Gabay. They wondered about taste variance and typicity, and reflected on the tasting sheets and sometimes fuzzy winemaking notes that accompanied each bottle. And this is how the new book was born, born of a curiosity to understand in depth the rosés of the South of France.
Gabay is the wine industry’s preeminent source, even before this book, on critical reflection on rosé around the world. Having worked in Provence since the mid-1980s, she’s not one to make assumptions about rosé color, aging, winemaking methods, origins, potential or style. This book – covering Provence, the Rhône Valley and Languedoc – also includes an educational introduction to rosé from the south of France as well as vintage reports and background on aging rosé wine.
Interest in rosé wines from the south of France has grown in recent years, although the region has cultivated this style since ancient times. According BevAlc Insights 2022 Rosé Wine Category Forecast per Drizly, “pink bottles from France – particularly from Provence and elsewhere in the south of France – continue to dominate sales, holding 63% of the rosé share on Drizly”. And there is no sign of this pattern slowing down. According to that same report, “continued product innovation means consumers are likely to look for new styles” of rosé in the still and sparkling categories in the future. It is a reality that Gabay and Bernheim anticipated.
“Of course, we realize that with rosé being the most exciting category of wine right now – constantly developing and evolving – one book won’t be enough,” says Gabay, hinting at an upcoming second edition. Meanwhile the site rose.wine is where fans and readers can follow authors and access current rosé wine content and research.
The book is also rich in original photographs and maps. “We decided to include as many maps as possible – difficult as there are very few maps for this region and less for rosé, so Ben created many of the maps himself,” says Gabay. “We wanted terroir photos to show where the wine comes from, to discuss the soils, the grapes, the winemaking and if good rosés could age.” All this and more awaits you inside.