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JUNE 2024/ EXTRA SPECTRAL

INTRO

Let’s think about pink.
The colors of the rainbow are visible to us as monochromatic light.  This is the color spectrum.  Each color is its own light.  When we see a rainbow in the sky, we are seeing a display of the complete and continuous (visible by humans) light spectrum!  As we take in the magnificence of the rainbow, let’s also remember that there are more colors- like pink.  Pink is extra special because it is extra spectral.  This means it is a color that can only be formed by a combination of other colors.  In the case of pink, this will mostly be red, with varying degrees of blue or yellow.  To be beyond the spectrum, to be extra spectral, also means to make our eyes work a little harder.  (Maybe this is why seeing the color pink often feels so surprising!)  Our eyes operate with three cones: one for interpreting red, one for green, and one for blue/ violet.  Therefore, when we take in the color pink, we are activating our red and blue/ violet cones, but not our green cone.  Like in music, seeing pink is like seeing colors in harmony performing a very special song just for you.  
Somewhere along the line, the humans of the western hemisphere began to associate color with gender and assigned females to pink and males to blue.  And then rosé wine, the oldest style of red wine, slowly became a “girlie” drink through the logic: if rosé is pink, and pink is feminine then rosé is feminine.  This is a classic error we see repeated throughout history of assigning nonsensical labels and creating misunderstandings and identity crises.  It begs us to ask, why is pink feminine?  In this issue we will debunk the female gender identity that rosé wine has been assigned by first exploring the history and evolution of how the inextricable link of pink to the female gender occurred. And second, by tasting two rosés that exhibit the range that rosé wine can deliver in regards to color, taste, aroma and texture.  Through taste and history, we believe that rosé wine and color can paint you a larger picture.
 
 

PINK IS FOR GIRLS

Pink plays as vibrant of a role in art as it does in nature.  In order to understand how this color became assigned to the female gender, we will limit our focus to the art of fashion, as this is where most of this story takes place.  

Once upon a time, in the mid to late 1700s, pink was a staple of high society fashion for both men and women.  It had been used in clothes before now, but mostly in religious paintings to symbolize the youth and innocence of baby Jesus.  It was Madame Pompadour, mistress to King Louis XV of France, who really introduced pink to the modern world.  She even had a specific shade of pink made just for her.  This was a time when the rich were very rich, and the ruling class waged wars that emptied national bank accounts as they threw parties for themselves.  Certain shades had the ability to seduce, other shades of pink promoted youthful innocence, and all pinks were prepared to party.
In 19th century England, pink was a young boy’s color.  Because men’s military outfits were a bright red, it is only natural to think of pink as training wheels for the future color of these young soldiers.  Then, as most stories go, WWII changed everything.  Men’s military uniforms had become more terrestrial; dark greens, blues, and grays.  Therefore, when returning home, civilian male fashion reflected these colors in both white and blue collar fashion.  In order to now transition women back to homemaking from their taste of the workforce during the war, clothing was to assign pastels and soft colors, with pink making a strong appearance.  Bolder shades began to make an appearance in high society again and by the 1960s, acid versions of pastels were all the rage in mens and womens clothing of all socioeconomic brackets thanks to the affordability of polyester!
We can see the first step towards pink being considered a female color as a result of WWII ending, but it is the birth of the ultrasound in the mid 1980s that cemented pink for girls and blue for boys.  This was the first time that parents knew the gender of their child before the arrival, which allowed for baby shopping to be more intentional than ever before.  Something had to make this knowledge beneficial and so marketing companies created that importance by deepening the distinction between genders.  Multiple industries capitalized on this divide: paint, home decorating, toys, and clothes to name a few.  Even to this day, as we break down the walls of what gender means and the point of its designation, “pink is for girls” remains an auto response in our brains.
 
 

PINK IS FOR EVERYONE

Looking at the role pink plays in cultures around the world exemplifies its awesomely contradictory character.  In Switzerland, pink is used to color the walls of jail cells because it is thought to be both mentally stimulating as well as calming.  In Japan, pink has historically been used when mourning slain samurai and is also used to represent spring time and new beginnings because of the blooming cherry blossoms.  In Korea, pink symbolizes both youth and innocence, as well as trustworthiness- an attribute that is cultivated over time.  Latin America, and most famously Mexico bringing its own shade of pink called rosa Mexicano, uses pink dominantly in its architecture with a belief that boldness is what makes things timeless.  Before making houses and buildings pink was an artistic license, pink was used along with other bright colors to distinguish a home, as many houses in small villages did not have official addresses.  You can still see colorful houses like this in Latin America today being used for the same reason, and now taking on the extra significance of socioeconomic status.  Another contradiction: the bold and rich color of pink is seen more commonly in small working class villages.
Pink is the color for the young, the dead, waking up, and calming down, innocence, trust, extravagance, and simplicity.  It is a color with immense range: from being so pale that it lies just above white, to as deep as magenta.  Add some yellow and you get salmon.  Add more blue and you’re almost at purple.  It can be as huge as a sunset, and as small as a flower petal.  As hard as a gemstone, and as soft as muscle.  How can we ask pink to represent any one thing?  Or any one person?  Maybe by assigning the color pink to something, we are calling that thing complex and contradictory, and prone to change.  These are qualities that lie within all of us.  So let pink be for everyone.
  
 

WINE 1

FORCE CELESTE
Cuvee Pet-Nat 2022
SOUTH AFRICA, Western Cape, Swartland
10.5 % ABV
This is a blend of primarily Pinotage with some Chenin Blanc. All grapes are grown organically and dry-farmed in the Swartland region of South Africa. Harvested by hand to ensure optimal ripeness and then fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel for 10 days before being bottled. Once in the bottle, the wine finishes fermentation providing some effervescence. No fining or filtration occurs.
Force Celeste is the wine production team of Johan Meyer and Ben Henshaw. They were one of the first producers of natural wines in South Africa and continue to be a leading example on how to make regionally specific, terroir driven wines. With no irrigation being used, and water relatively scarce, the vines dig deep, producing a lower yield of highly concentrated fruit.
Pinotage is a South African cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut that was bred in 1925. This grape tends to have some rich, red-fruit aromatics and flavors, along with some subtle, smoky undertones. Because of this, Pinotage is often paired with grilled & smoked food. The Chenin Blanc in this blend is providing some rich and round acidity, along with some playful tropical fruit notes. Both these grapes are signature varieties grown in many areas of South Africa. Petillant Naturale is such a perfect style of wine to drink as the weather warms. It provides the perfect balance of bubbles while still letting you taste the wine behind that effervescence. And in this case, with rosé, it's incredibly versatile on the food front: have it as a starter wine while you think about what to make for dinner; then have it while cooking dinner, and then a glass with dinner, and finally a refreshing palate cleanser while nibbling some sorbet!

WINE 2

DIVISION WINEMAKING COMPANY
Ouest Rosé 2023
WASHINGTON STATE, Columbia Valley
13% ABV
Pronounced 'west', this is the inaugural vintage of rosé for the Division Winemaking Company. And with it, they created a juicy & bright expression that's a true crowd pleaser. Hard not to when you are working with the Gamay grape, known primarily for making the ultimate party wine: Beaujolais Nouveau! We love Gamay in all its expressions, and welcome this one from the Pacific Northwest. The grapes used are all organic, and there was minimal sulfur added at bottling. 
The Columbia Valley runs for about 300 miles along the Columbia River with the Cascade Mountains bordering on the west, and the Channeled Scablands on the eastern edge. Lying in the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, the continental climate of the Valley means hot days and cool nights. What this means for grape growing is plenty of ripening time in the day, with plenty of rest for the grapes in the evening hours. A long and even growing season is what leads to a balance of sugar and acidity in the grapes.
 
 
 
 

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Our aim is to give a glimpse into the many roles wine has played throughout history.  All subjects mentioned deserve more attention and research and we encourage you to keep exploring.  We are only here to pop the cork.

Many Thanks, Caravan Wine Shop

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