What’s in a name? A rose, rosé etc.


This month, Sadie Wilkins of Vineyards in Sherborne is keen to debunk the myth that all great rosé is born in Provence

Shakespeare’s Juliet once claimed, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,”. But can we ever truly shake off longstanding reputations made through the power of language?
When it comes to wine, the importance of language use has always interested me – partly because in another life I taught English for 12 years, but also because it’s pure linguistic joy. Not only does your sensory language get a workout while describing the sensation on your palate, but then there’s the job of conveying this experience to another – and, of course, it’s all very subjective, isn’t it? Not to mention dealing with the wine classification systems and words associated with different countries and regions. So, it’s fair to say there’s a reason all English teachers turn to wine!
Anyhow, I digress …

Judging a wine by its label
Making a judgement based on a name is commonplace in the world of wine. Let’s take an obvious example like Champagne; one mere mention and an ice-bucketload of connotations pour out regarding its quality, provenance and price. We expect prestige, heritage and a certain level of complexity in the glass. As Champagne has what we call an AOC (Apellation d’Origine Controlée) – essentially a set of regulations by which you must abide – both the name and wine style are protected and cannot be used for ‘any old sparkling.’
Same goes for any of the Burgundy houses in France – or in fact any appellation across the globe. So why does that matter? Surely that’s a positive? Well, it is to an extent, particularly in terms of managing expectations of what lies within the bottle. However, it really is a double-edged sword and there’s one label that made me particularly want to write this piece – Provence.

Veneto not Provence
The flipside of reputations attached to certain labels is that they becomes a sticking point for some folk. We have to fight the cause of some rosés vigorously, just because they don’t come from Provence. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice glass of Provence and we have some delicious bottles on our shelves. But there really are many wines standing in the shadows of the name. We enjoy showcasing amazing rosés from the Bekaa Valley or the Veneto – some are quite similar style, but we give customers the choice of playing safe in the realms of Provence or giving it a twist. You never know, you might just find a new addition to the wine rack or fridge for the summer from an unexpected source.

Drinking Pink
Thursday 11th August, 7pm to 8:30pm

An evening of wine tasting dedicated to the pink stuff – Hannah and Sadie will be romancing you with rosé, busting myths, showcasing different grapes, countries and winemaking techniques and raising an indie glass to a style of wine which is still living life under a heavy Provençal stereotype.
Join us – it’s the perfect time of year for a rosé tasting and the six wines we have lined up are simply glorious! As always, no prior knowledge is needed – simply come along, drink great wine and leave knowing something new.

£15 – Book Here


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