Ask wine consumers how pink wine is made and you’ll get anything from a vacant stare or a disinterested shoulder shrug to some good hypotheses. The most prominent (and, honestly, most logical) is that pink wine is made by blending varying proportions of white and red wines.
Whether they are the product of bleeding, limited skin contact or blending, these pink wines seem to be perceived as marginal, throw-away products. The red-headed (…) step children of the wine world.
“Pink wine is not serious wine” some are apt to say. Tell that to the folks in Bandol or Tavel. Or worse yet, suggest that they blend their whites and reds to make pink wine. You’ll have European wine producers up in arms.
This is more than a tempest in a tea cup. Just look at today’s round up of articles in the “Wine Making” category over at winesciencenews.com. The Europeans may have a distaste for sweet white zinfandel or simply fear that a loosening of regulations would open the door to a slippery slope of diminishing quality.
One might want to point to the fact that many Spanish pink wines and pink Champagne (GASP!) is made by blending white and red wines. This may be seen as an inconsistency. However, to date, these wines been the exception to the pink wine production rule.
There is a lot of (at times, justified) bashing of European winemakers and European regulations concerning their wine industry. In this instance, the resistance to loosening of regulations is warranted and makes sense because it protects the quality of a style of wine by protecting the way it is produced.
While they are not necessarily complex or possessed of longevity, I like pink wines. Drinking and enjoying them does not threaten my masculinity nor does it diminish my self image as a wine aficionado. I do contend, however, that the traditional methods of producing pink still wines yields better wines.
So, I applaud the news that the EU regulations on pink wine production will not be loosened and I encourage everyone to drink pink and explore the realm of pink wines.
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