Rosé Wines are one of the basic wine types, as we have already seen in another post.
They have a rose or a pink color if you wish, and for quite a few years, they were supposed to be drunk as an apéritif. Mostly from women, due to its color.
However, somewhere along time, all these beliefs changed and Rosé wines became quite a hit among women and men.
But how do you choose a good rosé? And most importantly, how do you choose a good rosé for You?
Well, there are some things you need to know about Rosé wines first! So, how about a few tips?
Let’s move so you can see what I am talking about!
Tip No #1: There are no Rosé Grape Varieties!
Rosé wines come from white grape varieties, red grape varieties but NOT from Rosé grape varieties. You see, there are no rose grapes. When grapes are pressed for their juice to come out, the juice is actually clear, with no color at all. It is the contact of the juice with the skin of the grapes that determines the color of the wine. This process is called maceration.
So, Rosé wines emerge mainly as follows: the juice comes in contact with red grape skins for about two or three days, and as soon as the juice takes a rose color, the grape skins are removed and the fermentation follows. In case we wanted to have a red wine, we would leave the juice in contact with the red grape skins for much longer until the color of the juice becomes red. Same thing applies for white wine color.
Tip No #2: There are 3 main methods for making Rosé wine!
Maceration may be the most common way of making rose wines, but there are 3 more methods: Saignée or “bleeding”, Vin Gris and Decolorization.
Saignée or bleeding method requires the removal of some of the juice while making a red wine and then fermented on its own as a side-product. Since the bleeding method is considered to be more of an “after-thought”, most of the wine personalities are do not think of this procedure as a formal method of making rose wines.
Vin Gris is a method, according to which, red skin grapes are pressed immediately without going through the maceration process. The color of the juice that comes out is a very pale pink, much lighter than the usual rosés.
During the Decolorization method, absorbent charcoal, like activated carbon, is used to strip off color from the juice. However, it is a rarely used method for rosés, since more than just color is usually removed from the wine.
Making rose wines can also be achieved from mixing red with white wine, a procedure frowned upon from the wine community and therefore not on top of their preferences for the production of rose wines.
Tip No #3: There are only 6 main shades of rose!
You read that right! There are only 6 main shades of the rose color for these wines.
According to the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence in France, rosés may have one of the following colors:
Color seems to play a significant role in the choice of a rosé wine from wine consumers. Although studies have shown that consumers prefer darker rose wines, in a blind taste, where the color of the wine was not visible, lighter rose wines where the primary preference.
Tip No #4: Rosé wines match with almost any food!
Well, it’s true! There is such a great variety of wines in color and taste that is rare not to find a rose wine to pair it with your food preference. They are more of medium taste wines and, therefore, they are easy to match. You can pair them with salmon, tuna, shrimps, grilled chicken, pizza, hamburgers, sausages, salads, and the list goes on and on.
Plus, not only it can be used as a food pairing, but it can also be a great apéritif or a perfect wine for a picnic. Rosés are quite the chameleon of wine styles.
Tip No #5: Want a safe choice? Choose a Provence Rosé!
Provence Rosés are widely-known, they offer a great variety of rose wines and they hold the majority of production in the region, in terms of wine style. There is a large range of prices and they make an excellent food pairing with Mediterannean cuisine. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are some of the grape varieties used in the region for rosés wines.
According to François Millo, Director of Vins de Provence, in an interview for Wine Spectator: “The climate and soil in combination with the knowledge, tradition and techniques of the producers of the region make the Provence wine a specialty”.
So, in case you do not want to waste further time in this, go for the Rosés of Provence!
Don’t you wish I had told you that earlier?No no no no!Let’s move to the next one!
Tip No #6: There are 10 primary grape varieties used for rose wines
Almost any grape variety can be used for the production of rosé wines, however, there are 10 primary grape varieties used, the ones that you may see below right now:
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
So, as you may have already understood, you can choose from a fruity and delicate rosé to a savory one or from a dry and rich to a sweet and flowery one. Rosés serve every taste and preference. Why don’t you choose your own according to your taste?
Tip No #7: Style of wine? Rosé Champagne on the market!
Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling. Since rosés can be sparkling shouldn’t there be a rosé Champagne? Well, there is!
3 to 5% from Champagne’s annual production is actually Rosé Champagne. These Champagnes are often colored with hues and their color shade can range from baby pink to copper salmon.
The most common method of making a Rosé Champagne is by mixing red with white wine. This method, however, is not allowed to be used outside the region of Champagne!
Champagne Leclerc Briant Brût Rosé, Champagne Perrier-Jouet Blason Rosé, Moët & Chandon Champagne 2006 Grand Vintage Rosé, Ruinart Brût Rosé NVand 1999 Bollinger La Grande Anée Rosé are some great Rosé Champagnes.
Tip No #8: Rosé, Rosado or Rosato? Pick your own!
Rose wines have different names across the world, but they all come down to the meaning “pink”.
Rose wine is called Rosé in French, Rosado in Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, Rosato in Italian and Roseewein in German.
However, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany are not the only countries where rose wine is produced. Austria, Switzerland and the United States belong to the winemakers of rose wines. Of course, France holds the first place as the largest rose wine production country and Italy along with U.S. follow.
Tip No #9: Rosés are great for cocktails!
Yeap! Rosé wines are easy to mix with different ingredients, some of them are quite fruity, and they make an excellent addition for cocktails. What is more, they are incredibly refreshing! Their color makes them look playful and along with colorful garnishes, they are “a sight for sore eyes”. West Coast Sunset, Rosy Gimlet, Kir Blush and Blackberry Bellini are some delicious and refreshing cocktails with rosé wines.
Tip No #10: You are allowed to drink Rosé wine all-year round!
Due to its wonderful and playful colors, rosé wines are considered to be summer or spring wines. However, that could not be further from the truth! Rose wines are a versatile style of wine. They have such a great variety of tastes, flavors and aromas that they have an unlimited use as far as the occasion and period of time of consumption are concerned. After all, there is a wide range of food pairings they match, as we have already talked about, isn’t there? So, go on and take try to mix and match!
Tip No #11: Rose wines might be the oldest known type of wine after all!
That’s right! The oldest known type of wine! You see, back in time, the methods used for making wine were, of course, limited and the techniques used for a darker wine color were not widely practiced. Soon after the grapes were harvested, red and white ones, they were pressed by hand, feet, etc. with little maceration time, allowing the juice to be lightly pigmented.
As early as ancient Greeks and Roman winemakers, did not let the juice come in contact with the grape skins as until the Middle Ages, a darker colored wine was considered to be more intense, harsh and quite undesirable. Therefore, lighter colored wine versions were made.
Tip No #12: Rosés are just not for girls! Boys, please enjoy!
There was a time that a rose wine was considered to be a “girly” drink! Well, it’s pink so it’s only fair that it addresses to the female part of the population.
Well, think again!
The once-dismissed and completely girly wine has now become one of the mostly drunk wine type among both sexes. It is gradually becoming a trend and quite preferable in guy groups. Sam Daly, an actor known for Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), in his interview with Details magazine, stated that “Rosé is kind of like online dating. What was once a faux pas has become the norm. It’s become universally accepted among men and women. It’s kind of like the beer of wine.”
So boys drink up! Rose is here for you as well!
Tip No #13: Rose wines are meant to be drunk young!
Most of the Rosé wines should be drunk within a year or two. While some bottles might hold to a few more years, their tastes and aromas do not get better as time passes. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule such as rosé Champagne and Rioja’s Lopez de Heredia, “Viña Tondonia” Gran Reserva Rosado 2000.
Tip No #14: Drink your Rosé chilled, not frozen!
Typically, Rosé wines are supposed to be served at around 48-55°degrees, slightly warmer than white wines. Since Rosés are such a delicate type of wine, in case you freeze it, it will taste like cold dry water. However, since rose wines can come from different grape varieties and in a wide color range, then the general rule applies the lighter the color and style, the more chilled the wine should be.
Interesting Facts about Rosé wines
- In France, the consumption of Rosé wines is larger than the consumption of white wines.
- Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are the owners of Château Miraval, in Provence since 2012. The Château Miraval Rosé 2012 was ranked 84th in Wine-Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year.
- The bottle used for rosé wines in Provence is a distinctive curvy bowling bowl shaped one and it’s called “skittle” or “flute à corset”.
- A 3.5-ounce glass of rosé wine has only 73 calories while an average glass of rosé has only 4.25 carbohydrates per serving.
To Sum up…
Rosé wines are the new trend of nowadays and the oldest type of wine ever made in history! It is definitely not a girly drink and contrary to common belief, it can be drunk through all-year round!
Rosé wines are elegant, mostly paired with any kind of food or drunk on their own and they are a must-add ingredient in fruity colorful cocktails. Though it was a bit mistreated in the past, its delicate characteristics and wide variety of tastes, make rosé wine one of the easiest and preferable choices among men and women.
Hope you’ve got everything you needed in order to choose your own good Rosé wine! Cheers to you!
Do you have any important tip about choosing a good Rosé wine? Please feel free to add any!