All about Rosé
As temperatures climb in hotter months, wine drinkers everywhere sway towards Rosé. Since being one of the first recorded wines in history, Rosé is now also one of the fastest growing wines and is commonly imported from many wine producing regions globally. Rosé is best known from Provence, France for creating some of the most consistent and elegant wines. What many people do not know, is that Rosés can be made from nearly any red or white wine grape. What gives Rosé its famous pink color? Essentially, this all comes down to grape skin contact. The longer the skin is mixed in with the juice, the darker and more tannic the finished wine will be.
There are three primary ways to make Rosé. The most commonly used method around the world is the maceration method, which is when the skin of the grapes are left to sit with the juice for a period of time before the skins are removed. The next method, vin gris, is very similar to the process of making a white wine, but includes a variation of the maceration method. In contrast to the classic maceration method, the skin of the grapes are only in contact with the juice for a very short period of time, typically under a few hours. The third method, Saignée, separates roughly 10% of juice intended to make red wine into it’s own vessel to make Rosé. Each of these methods for making Rosé are demonstrated in the vast Rosé collection found at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.
Rosé wine is known for its iconic pink color, although it can range anywhere from light orange to a near-purple. Predominant aromas and flavors of Rosé contain red fruits (strawberry, raspberries and cherries), honeydew melon, citrus, celery and floral notes. Rosé can be sweet or dry, but it is usually made in a dry style. Rosé can taste close to its red wine counterparts while bringing more of a subtle, refreshing flavor that is higher in tannins than white wine. To enhance the fruity flavors, aromas and sweetness, Rosé should be served chilled like other white wines. However, too cold and many of these flavors can become muted. Muted fruit flavors can also occur through the aging process and it is recommended that most Rosé wines are consumed within a couple years of their vintage.
Today, the most popular wine regions for the production of Rosé include Provence, the Languedoc-Roussillon and the Rhone Valley regions (all in France) as well as countless Spanish (Rosados) and Italian (Rosato) versions. Provence Rosés are generally fruity and lean with a fresh and dry style. Languedoc-Roussillon Rosés are more full-bodied and even drier. Rhone Valley Rosés have a firm structure and body and tend to be more savory and rich, while also higher in alcohol and lower in acidity. Domestically, California is the main producer of Rosé, known for their sweet style. They have been popularized here thanks to its “blush” wine relatives, like Pink Moscato or White Zinfandel, which share the reputation of being sweet and easy to drink along with their pinkish hue.
Rosé has a fantastic range in variety, very similar to red wines, and will pair wonderfully with a multitude of dishes. More full-bodied Rosés have bold fruit flavors and are ideal for spicier foods, like curry. Rosés with light-to-medium bodies are perfectly refreshing for hot summer days and weekend cookouts.
To help piece together the perfect meal to pair with your Rosé, our ABC wine expert, Shayne Hebert, shares some of his favorite food pairings, “Tapenade is unacceptable unless served with Rosé, and the Domaine des Carteresses Tavel is a perfect match. Grilled fish, shellfish or anything garlicky also works wonders! Make a quick aioli or rouille, grab a baguette and be swept into the south of France!” For a more upscale evening, the Chateau de Noblesse Bandol is one of France’s most famous Rosés. Shayne says, “This is another quintessential food wine, and I recommend pairing it with Bouillabaisse, Soupe de Poisson or a simple bowl of Niçoise olives.”
Already in love with Rosé? Here are some other varietals you should try based on your taste.
Have you traveled the world of Rosé? We have some must-try picks from our experts that may surprise you. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits offers a wonderful selection of classic dry Rosé wine from Provence, Languedoc and more, with over two dozen wines ranging from under $10 to $26.99, fitting any price point and style you may like. ABC also offers a Sourced & Certified selection that are hand-picked by our team of experts and include the highest quality products exclusively for you. Our wine expert Atanas Nechkov's personal favorites include Chateau Trians, Vue Sur Mer and Marietta Old Vine Rosé. Looking for something new outside of Rosé? A Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay are great options if you love the dry style of Rosé.