Rosé wine has gained popularity in recent years, with the pink-hued drink often associated with warm days and relaxing summer evenings. However, unlocking the mystery of this wine is a fascinating journey that goes beyond the stereotype of it being just a light, refreshing drink. Creating Rosé is unique and intriguing, with various styles and flavours available that can enhance any meal or occasion. From sweet and fruity to dry and complex, there is a Rosé wine to suit any taste. This article will explore the production process and how to choose and pair the perfect Rosé with different foods and occasions. Get ready to discover the charming world of Rosé wines and explore their diversity and charm.
Rosé is a light pink wine made differently than red wine but uses the same grapes. The flavours of rosé are mainly red fruit, flowers, citrus, and melon, and it has a crisp finish similar to celery or rhubarb. However, the flavour of the wine can vary greatly depending on the type of grape used to make it. For example, an Italian Aglianico rosé will have cherry and orange zest flavours if it’s deeply coloured, while a pale-coloured Grenache rosé from Provence in France will taste like honeydew melon, lemon, and celery.
Rosé wine is best served chilled between 45-55°F (7-13°C), depending on the style of the wine. The ideal temperature for serving Rosé can vary depending on whether it is a light, refreshing style or a richer, more complex wine. Lighter and sweeter rosés are best served at cooler temperatures, while fuller-bodied and dry rosés can handle a slightly warmer temperature. Therefore, it is essential to consider the specific type and style of Rosé you are serving when deciding on the ideal serving temperature.
When serving white and rosé wine, it’s essential to avoid letting them get too warm, as this can bring out unpleasant flavours and aromas. Keeping your Rosé chilled to the correct temperature will help you enjoy it to its fullest potential.
Primary methods to make rosé wine
There are four primary methods to make rosé wine. Each method offers its own characteristics and allows winemakers to create different styles of rosé wine to suit their preferences and target markets. Regardless of the method, rosé wines are typically crisp, aromatic, and refreshing, with flavours that range from fruity to floral to savoury.
Maceration is the most common method for producing rosé wine.
The maceration method involves soaking (macerating) red grape skins in the juice for a short period, usually a few hours to a few days. For lighter varieties, like Grenache, it can take 24 hours. For darker red-wine types, like Mourvedre, the process sometimes only lasts a few hours. During this time, the skins release colour and flavour compounds into the juice, giving it the desired pink hue and subtle tannins. The longer the skins are allowed to soak, the deeper the colour will be. The juice is then separated from the skins and fermented separately into a rosé wine.
It is used in regions like Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon, France, where rosé is as important as red or white wine.
Saignée is a French term for “bleeding.” This method involves “bleeding off” a portion of juice from the fermentation of red wine.
When making red wine, winemakers often remove some juice early to increase the skin-to-juice ratio, producing more concentrated red wine. The juice that is bled off can be fermented separately to produce rosé wine. The Saignée method is capable of producing some of the longest-lasting Rosé wines. Wines made from the Saignée method are typically more robust, intense, darker, and savoury than Maceration Method rosé wines.
Blending involves mixing finished red and white wines to create a rosé. This method is less common, as it is often prohibited in wine regions with strict regulations regarding grape varieties and winemaking techniques. However, winemakers may blend red and white wines in some areas to create their desired rosé blend, adjusting the colour, flavour, and aroma profiles accordingly.
It doesn’t take much red wine to dye a white wine pink, so these wines usually add up to 5% or so of red wine.
Vin Gris ("Gray Wine") Method
Vin Gris, or “Gray Wine,” is a production method of making nearly-white rosé wine. Unlike other rosés, made by macerating red grapes in the juice for a short period to extract colour, Vin Gris is made by pressing red grapes immediately after harvest with minimal skin contact. This results in a wine that has a pale, grayish hue. Red grapes are carefully selected and gently pressed to extract the juice without any maceration to make Vin Gris. The naturally clear juice is then fermented as a white wine. This method allows for a more delicate and subtle flavour profile, with notes of citrus and red fruits.
This style of Rosé winemaking is famous for the lighter red wine varieties such as Pinot Noir in the United States and Gamay or Cinsault in France.
Rosé wine is best consumed within a year of its release, except for some types of Rosé like the ones made in Bandol, France.
To properly store Rosé wine, keep it in a cool, dark place with minimal exposure to light in an area with low humidity. Keep the bottles away from direct sunlight and heat sources like ovens or radiators. The ideal temperature for storing Rosé is between 7-13°C/45-55°F. It is also important to lay the bottles on their sides to keep the cork moist and properly seal the bottle, as this air into the bottle will spoil the wine. If you plan on storing Rosé for an extended period, consider investing in a wine refrigerator or storage unit. Additionally, it is essential to note that Rosé is intended to be enjoyed soon after purchase and typically does not benefit from long-term aging.
Storing opened bottle
Storing an opened bottle of Rosé wine should be done carefully to maintain its quality and flavour. Ensure the bottle is tightly sealed immediately after pouring and storing it in the coldest part of the refrigerator at a temperature between 4-10°C/40-50°F. If you do not have a cork, use a wine stopper to seal the bottle. Alternatively, you can transfer the remaining rosé to a smaller airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Ensure that the bottle is stored upright to prevent any air from entering and oxidizing the wine, thus spoiling the flavour.
Furthermore, the fridge will slow down the wine’s rate of oxidation, allowing it to stay fresh for about three to five days. It’s best to consume rosé wine within 5–7 days of opening, as it oxidizes and loses some of its flavour afterward. Refrain from keeping the Rosé wine in the fridge door as it exposes the bottles to temperature changes, making it easier for the wine to spoil. So, store the bottle in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight, and enjoy its fresh & fruity taste for as long as possible.
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The legendary Rosé wines everyone should know
Rosé wine has enjoyed a significant surge in popularity over the past decade thanks to its refreshing taste and versatility. Rosé wine is increasingly popular, and many different varieties are worth knowing. Dry Rosé Wine is a refreshing, crisp style made from various grape varieties, including Pinot Noir, Syrah and Grenache. Grenache Rosé has a light and fruity flavour and is popular in southern France and Spain. Provence Rosé is perhaps the most famous style, made from a blend of grapes grown in southern France. Tavel Rosé is a fuller-bodied wine with a deep, dark pink colour and is perfect for pairing with food. Pinot Noir Rosé is made from the Pinot Noir grape, resulting in a deliciously delicate and elegant wine. Sweet Rosé Wine is enjoyed by many, with flavours ranging from berry to floral. Finally, White Zinfandel is distinctively pink and is highly refreshing, with a touch of sweetness. Some of the most famous and renowned Rosé wines come from regions in France, such as Provence. Other notable regions for Rosé include Spain and Italy. Additionally, wineries in countries like the United States (specifically those in California), Australia, and New Zealand have followed suit, producing quality rosés that can stand up to their European counterparts. Overall, Rosé wine is a boldly flavoured yet approachable wine style, making it one of the top picks for casual drinkers and serious wine enthusiasts.
The classic wine categories include sparkling, white (light, medium and full-bodied), rosé, red (light, medium and full-bodied) and dessert wine.
Sparkling wine is known for its effervescence, with carbon dioxide bubbles naturally forming during fermentation. White (light, medium and full-bodied) wine is usually produced from lighter-coloured grapes with a lighter body and a more delicate flavour. Rosé wine is a pink-coloured wine made from red grapes with a refreshing taste and versatile food pairings. Red (light, medium and full-bodied) wine is typically made from dark-coloured grapes, giving it a deeper colour and bold flavour profile. Dessert wine is a type of wine that is sweet and often served after a meal or paired with desserts.
These classic wine categories are the foundation of the wine industry and the starting point for exploring the many variations and complexities within each category.
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