Rosés happen to be one of my favorite styles of wines. They’re light, refreshing, and full of bright acidity. The catching phrase of ‘Rose all day!’ rings true if you think about how food friendly this wine is. A nice Provence style rosé makes for a perfect aperitif, while fuller bodied rosés pair beautifully with a Sunday brunch frittata, an afternoon charcuterie plate, or with seafood or heavier meal. A rosé Champagne is perfect for any celebration, am I right?
Rosés beautiful hues of pink can be made from several red varietals and in different styles ranging from dry to sweet.
How it's Made
There are a few different methods for making Rose:
Direct press – this is when the red grapes are picked and directly pressed. These wines make up some of the lightest colored rosés as there is little to no time for the juice to extract color from the skins. This style is also sometimes called Vin Gris or Provence style. These pale and subtly fruity wines tend to have a more minerality character.
Short maceration – grapes are gently pressed and left for a short period of time with the skins to extract color and flavor. The longer the maceration period, the deeper the color, flavor, and to a lesser extent tannin extraction. The average maceration period is 2 to 24 hours but could last up to a few days. Wines made from this method may include the more traditional styles of Spanish rosés and rosés from Tavel. The deeper colored rosés are more pronounced in flavor and can contain some phenolics from the lengthened skin contact. These roses are sometimes a by-product of red wine making, known as saignée. Saignée is a process in red wine making where they bleed off some of the pre-fermented juice (which can be used to make rose) to increase the skin to juice ratio as a way of concentrating the red wine.
Blending – this method involves blending a small portion of red wine to a white wine in effort to reach the desired hue. However, this method is not allowed in many geographical indications in Europe. Champagne is the is the exception to this rule of adding red wine to a white wine base. There are a few regions in France that allow for a small amount of white wine to be added to a rose base. This can help to soften some of the acidity and round out the palate.
Rosés can range in sweetness from dry to medium-sweet. Most of the wines available today trend on the dry to off-dry side. Many labels will now tell you the style wine. So, if you haven’t tried a rose in the last decade or so, now is the time.
Check out my favorite rosés here.