There are so many myths about rosé wine. One is that it’s a blend of red and white wine. Another that all rosé produced is sweet. Yet another one is that if farmers have bad, or less than superior grapes, they make rosé . Nothing could be further from the truth. Making a good quality rosé is as complicated as making great red or white wine. In fact, if the winemaker doesn’t pay proper attention, it can go from success to fiasco in a very short amount of time!
Today, rosé is more than just a simple, chilled wine we drink on hot summer days. There are several different colors produced, from different grape varieties and countries all over the world. Provence is the region most known for this type of wine, while other regions in France such as Bordeaux and Loire produce wonderful examples too. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Chile, Australia, South Africa and of course the United States all have a variety of styles and expressions.
So how is rose made?
Basically, the skins of the grapes, (most often red grapes), remain in the must for a shorter or longer period, depending on what color and flavor profile the winemaker is looking for. Today, there are generally two methods for making rosé: direct pressing and short maceration. The preferred way is the latter, where there is skin contact is just long enough to extract the sufficient amount of color, or anthocyanins, typically anywhere between 12-48 hours. Depending on what grapes are used, the time required varies, as different grapes have different amounts of coloration.
Grape varieties used in making rose range from Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Pinot Noir, to Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel and Zweigelt, just to name a very few. The variety of styles, characters and flavor is enormous – which is exciting, because you never need to pick up the same bottle twice! Winemakers are now moving towards making rose wines for all year round, not just the summer. Fuller bodied versions for the fall and winter are starting to pop up on the market, and because these wines are super food friendly, we agree that rose is not only for the summer!
Pair rosés with anything like baba ganoush and hummus, greens to grain salads, pesto ladened pizza and pasta, falafels, curries, Moroccan spiced legumes with couscous, grilled summer vegetables with fresh herbs, ratatouille, vegetarian paella, olives and Mexican food.
Make sure to check out our rosé from Zinfandel, Proulx Rose, from Paso Robles – available in our online shop now. Club members will get a 10% discount on all wines available in our online shop! We also have another exciting bottling from Austria coming up for our club members.
If you have more questions about rose wine or about wine or our wine club in general, make sure to like and catch us live on our Facebook page every Wednesday for our Wine Wednesday video, where we highlight our pick of the week, as well as tackle a question or topic our followers have sent in!