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5 Sommeliers Reveal What They Think When You Order Rosé

"There can be an almost involuntary, knee-jerk assumption of basic-bitchness when someone orders rosé."

13/06/2017 3:20 AM AEST | Updated 20/06/2017 4:47 AM AEST

Over the past few years, rosé has become a symbol of the “basic” movement.

Some people wholeheartedly embrace the signs of being “basic,” which means drinking rosé at brunch with your besties in the summer, or counting down the days until Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte comes out. 

Nicholas Rhodes via Getty Images
A White Girl Rosé launch party seemingly confirms the drink's basic reputation. 

But because of rosé’s newfound reputation, some people avoid the delicious wine because it might seem less sophisticated than other choices. So HuffPost called on five sommeliers to get their expert opinions on what they think of people who drink rosé. 

Maryse Chevriere: certified sommelier and illustrator at freshcutgardenhose 

“It’s true, there can be an almost involuntary, knee-jerk assumption of basic-bitchness when someone orders rosé. I’d say especially when it’s a by-the-glass situation and it’s clear that the only guiding principle for the selection is color, and maybe temperature. But it certainly doesn’t make you want to roll your eyes, clench your jaw, and shake a person like hearing the tired refrain, ‘I don’t like Rieslings, they’re all too sweet!’ (Most produced around the world are made in a dry style, P.S., and what the hell is so wrong with sweet anyways?!).

“But I digress. I’ll say this: I order rosé all the time. And I don’t feel like a basic bitch when I do, and, most importantly, I don’t care if the somm thinks I am for ordering it. Drink what you like and what you’re in the mood for; others’ opinions be damned.”

Craig Collins, Master Sommelier and beverage director of Elm Restaurant Group

“I’ve been in the wine industry now for 20 years and I’ve probably been drinking rosé with my industry peers and other professionals for probably 15 of those 20 years. It was always something that we in the industry always drank and enjoyed because it’s light and crisp and clean and delicious. But because of the persona that it was pink and therefore sweet, nobody else would drink it outside of the industry. And it’s finally in the past two years got to the point where people understand it is delicious and it’s not sweet and it’s dry and I feel like all of us in the industry are finally high-fiving each other like, ‘Yes!’

“I think ten, fifteen, twenty years ago we as consumers replied simply on scores to dictate what we were drinking and now with the influence that we see in social media, individuals start to follow sommeliers and wine professionals and all of our feeds are filled with rosé, and it’s what we all drink in the summertime.” 

Shannon Westfall, certified sommelier and founder of Vinfluence

“I personally love rosé and know many ‘sophisticated wine drinkers’ that do too. That said, when ordering any glass of wine I think context matters. Did you order ‘the rosé’ but not specify which one you want out of the four on the list? That’s an indication you either don’t know or don’t care about the differences (which is fine, not everyone’s a wine geek). Then, what about the setting? If you’re poolside, you’re more likely to be judged for ordering a glass of full-bodied red than a glass of rosé. I think rosé is actually a great fail-safe wine to order if you’re unsure what to get. Like sparkling, it pairs well with many cuisines and is easy to drink without food too.”

Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier, former education chair and education director for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas

“It’s 2017 and rosés from important regions all over the wine world (including Champagne) can be found on most wine lists―so ordering a glass of dry rosé in a restaurant is getting close to being mainstream. Add to that the fact that dry rosé is such a versatile wine when it comes to pairing with a wide range of dishes. Finally, it’s also summer, which is prime rosé season.

“As for what a sommelier might think of you ordering a glass of rosé? Order the right wine and they will probably think you know exactly what you’re doing.” 

Pascaline Lepeltier, Master Sommelier, beverage director at Rouge Tomate Chelsea

“So I am no one to judge really, and especially when we are talking about a category. Like for white and red, there is a huge range of quality of wines. I think there are tremendous rosés, some for early conception, some worth aging. I like and absolutely respect rosés when they are made with a purpose, from respectful farming (organic, biodynamic) with as little additives as possible to let the terroir, the varieties, the winemaker’s craft speak.

“When rosé is made just based on the color, with little to no interest to the farming, with a heavily interventionist viticulture, it is another story and not bottles I am looking to open, and even less to recommend to my guests.”

These answers have been condensed and edited for clarity. 

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