On the recent trip out for this wedding in Mallorca, the wife and I picked up a bottle of Mateus Rosé at the market. That’s right, Mateus Rosé. The infamous wine that kept middle classes in the 60s and 70s plastered! It’s got a shocking reputation these days, but I’d never tried it. And there it was on the shelf for €5!
This was a wine that was created to start “Brand Portugal”. Thought up in the 1940s by SoGrape, the success of Mateus Rosé in the following years meant SoGrape had the capital to become Portugal’s biggest wine exporter, with brands now covering table wines from across Portugal and Port. So without Mateus Rosé, would we all be enjoying all these great wines from Alentejo and the Douro?
As sweet and sticky as it used to be, it was made less sweet and sticky and more bubbly at the turn of the century, and following years of decline in sales, it was relaunched in the UK to cling onto 70s nostalgia apparently! It worked to an extent with sales, but the image has remained unchanged. It’s almost a bit of a joke wine.
Well I wasn’t going to knock it til I’d tried it, so in the fridge it went. On opening it, I was…well…non-plussed. It wasn’t awful, it was decently balanced, but neither was it a wine I would ever tell people “oh you’ve got to go try it!” There was non real finish to speak of. Maybe if you wanted something cold and bubbly on a hot day? Sparkling water works for that! To be honest I was mostly disappointed by my complete lack of a strong opinion!
So I’m going to finish by saying that I’m glad Mateus Rosé is around. Ok, it might not be something I’ll ever drink again, but I’m also not going to jump on the bandwagon of trashing it either! You’ve got to remember its success led to the opening up of Portuguese wines to the world. If nothing else it deserves a clap for that!