Rosé is an interesting type of wine. While it’s most popular during the spring and summer months, it’s delicious all year long, and great with food. However it’s also often an underdog, and doesn’t receive quite as much recognition as red and white wine.
Rosé wine has a whole spectrum of taste profiles from dry and crisp to sweet and dessert-like.
Rosé wine is most commonly made from red grapes, although there are also many different blends of red and white grapes available. The grapes can be processed in many different ways, but here are the top three methods.
1.Top shelf Rosé is often made by using the bleeding or saignée (pronounced SonYay) method. Grapes are left to sit on top of each other in the tank and the weight of the grapes does the work. A few hours after picking and then sitting in the tank, the skins start to separate and float to the top (forming a cap) and the juice is then drained into barrels or different tanks to ferment. This method produces very light colored Rosé.
2.In the Pressing method, the grapes are squeezed in a wine press until the desired color is achieved. Some argue that this is the best method of creating Rosé because the wine maker has more control over the results. Because of this, the style is often preferred over other methods.
3.The Maceration method combines a bit of both the saignée and pressing methods. The grapes are crushed (some still do this the old-fashioned way, by stomping on the grapes), and are then left to sit for anything from a couple of hours to a full day. The longer the skins are left in the juice, the darker the color. The juice is then separated from the must (pulp, skin and seeds) and fermented.
As for the varietals used in Rosé, pretty much any red grape varietal, or combination of varietals can be used. Rosé tastes like a light version of whatever grape is used and will have similar taste profiles. Here are a few of the most common, with suggestions of wines to try:
Dry, Light, Fruity, Floral Rosé:
Provence Rosé is crisp and dry and generally quite light in color. It displays tones of strawberry, rose petals and watermelon with gentle minerality.
Pinot Noir Rosé is light and bright with all the lovely tones of pinot, cranberry, raspberry, cherry and a subtle earthiness.
Mourvèdre Rosé is quite floral in nature and tends to be more coral in color. Beautiful tones of plums, violets, rose petals, cherries and herbs feature, along with subtle tones of smoke and light pepper follow.
Sangiovese Rosé is fruity and delicious with strawberries, peaches, melon and great acidity with just a hint of bitterness as a counterpoint.
Dry, Full, Savory Rosé:
Tavel Rosé is dry and rich and very full-bodied for a Rosé, it is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault and other varieties. It has tasting notes of red cherry, strawberry, nectarine, minerals and subtle acidity.
Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé is fuller in color than most Rosé with rich currant, cherry, and pepper tones and mouthwatering acidity.
Tempranillo Rosé is a fantastic Rosé in a unique shade of pink, with lots of rich, earthy, smoky tones of sweet strawberries and melon. It’s rounded out with subtle herb and pepper notes.
Syrah Rosé is rich in both color and taste with musky earthy tones, and a slightly peppery quality. Along with strawberry, cherry and peach notes, its one of the fullest bodied dry Rosés.
Semi Sweet, to Sweet Rosé:
Rosé Cuvee is a sparkling wine with a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varietals. Cuvee is one of the sweeter champagnes styles with lovely tones of strawberry, raspberry, vanilla and honey.
White Zinfandel is probably the most well known Rosé, and is generally pretty sweet, with strawberry, melon, candy and citrus tones
Pink Moscato – Bubbly, sweet, Pink Moscato is definitely the dessert of Rosé. Tones of berries, plums, peaches, citrus, passion fruit and honey play in this variety.
We hope you end up loving Rosé as much as we do, all year round!
Do you have a favorite Rosé? We’d love to hear about it!