Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rosé-coloured glasses

Paris summer: Warm breezes, open-toed sandals and gallons of rosé.

This is the first warm weather week in Paris. Flowers are nearly falling over themselves, hanging out windows, their petals lapping up the sunshine they haven't tasted for months. Ladies in their summer dresses are sashaying up the streets and down through the Métro. I have seen many polka dot undies wedged into some jiggling bums over the last few days. Those ladies don't realize how transparent their dresses really are, or they forgot to wear their slips, or they are French and that's how they roll.

And then there is rosé.
Hello, dear.

You'd expect to see a few young girls sitting on patios drinking this blushing bride of wines. Rosé, before I knew better, was what people who don't drink wine slurp back at weddings. It's wine-lite. It's sweet, cold and... did I mention sweet? And after a few sips, there is a sense that this grape Kool-Aid is a bit... off.

In the USA and Canada, we wine lovers scoff at the stuff. You're having White Zinfandel?! But here on the streets of Paris? Rosé is an honored beverage, a perfect transition from the reds of a cold winter and the refreshing whites of a hot summer. And Parisians are clip-clopping in their shiny new open-toed sandals to the nearest bar to partake in this printemps pleasure.

Even big burly men with bellies out to *here* maneuver themselves into sunny seats on crowded patios to sip dainty glasses of rosé while conversing about the new president, women, Greece and that whole mess. Je crois this and je crois that. "I believe" everyone has a different opinion on everything in the Eurozone, but we all agree that rosé is where it's at when it comes to summoning sunshine.

Rosé is a refreshing young wine with hints of floral and grapefruit. And it's light as lace. It has become so popular here that in 2008, it surpassed white wine sales. This is a big deal. The French aren't into change. At all. But they seem tickled by this pink potion.
Pretty in Pink.
The lady friends and myself managed to talk our way through two bottles the other night. Our apéro, which is the delightful interlude between the work day and dinner, turned into a full night of gabbing and spearing olives with little toothpicks.

After a wobbly walk home, I sat on the edge of my bed replacing the blister bandages on my feet and sighing with satisfaction. Summer is here.


  1. I'm sure we will have a taste of it when Your Aunt Mary and I arrive which I'm looking foreward to, not only the drink, but to see you in real person instead of on skype.You better stock up,there is still lots of life in your mother.

  2. Janice you will have to hook me up with your Mom and Aunt Mary. We can try to drink all the rose in Paris.

  3. "Flowers are nearly falling over themselves, hanging out windows, their petals lapping up the sunshine they haven't tasted for months." What I enjoy about your writing is how visual it is. Nicely done.

  4. Just don't put ice cubes in it, mkay?

  5. Rebecca from OFIIMay 30, 2012

    You forgot to mention the smells of summer... especially on the metro. ;) We should have a glass of rose soon!

  6. What a lovely post! Like poetry.

    There is some good rose in Central California too - Mr. W and I bought two bottles over the weekend. Nothing better with a little barbecue and warm evening air!

  7. AnonymousJune 18, 2012

    Hey there Janice...I always wanted an excuse to drink Rose....somehow it wasn’t quite masculine enough. But thanks to you blog, I bought a few bottles for last week’s dinner party and referenced that big burly Persian men do it….and so can I!
    Thank you.
    Love you...Rod Warren


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