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It’s rosé season, so here’s a timely question: what is the difference between rosé de Loire and rosé d’Anjou?

A. Nothing. Anjou is a town in the Loire, so the two terms are synonymous.

B. Rosé d’Anjou is made from pinot noir but rosé du Loire is not necessarily made from that grape.

C. Rosé de Loire is still and rosé d’Anjou is sparkling.

D. Rosé de Loire is dry and rosé d’Anjou is a little sweet.

D.

Created in 1974, the designation rosé de Loire refers to dry rosés made in the central Loire region (Anjou and Touraine) mainly from pineau d’Aunis and/or gamay grapes. Rosé d’Anjou is an older designation (it’s been an AOC since 1936) and refers to a slightly sweet style of rosé.  It too is made from a variety of grapes, although the main ones in this case are grolleau, cabernet franc, and/or malbec. By the way, it’s tempting to think that Provence “owns” rosé in France, but a whole lot of French rosé comes from the Loire. For example, on average, more than 17 million bottles of rosé d’Anjou are produced annually.

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