Let’s talk Rosé! How many of you enjoy this beloved pink drink but aren’t actually sure how it’s made? I get questions all the time about how this wine gets its famous pink color. No, there are not pink grapes. And no, you wouldn’t want to just combine a red wine with a white wine and call it rosé! Keep reading to learn all of the facts about this wine and the best rosé to buy for all occasions!
Creating a rosé wine is not as easy as you might think. It requires the winemaker to think technically about what style they want to create and a lot of attention to detail.
The grapes are typically harvested when the flavor is full, but they still have enough bright acidity. Most rosé is made from red grapes. These red grapes being made into rosé would normally be harvested before the same grapes would be made into red wines. However, Rosé can be made from white or red grapes! There are many different techniques that winemakers around the world use to create a pink wine, however the most common and straightforward technique is short maceration.
Short Maceration is when the grapes are crushed and then soaked in their skins long enough to gain some color and tannin. This can be anywhere from two to twenty hours. In comparison with red wines, they typically macerate with their skins for days, weeks, or months.
Once the pulps have been in contact with the skins for the desired amount of time, the juice is drained, pressed, and ready for fermentation. After fermentation, these wines need to mature. Most rosé wines are matured in stainless steel or tank vessels, but some are aged in neutral oak to allow some oxidization to occur. The neutral oak will not impart any oaky flavors into the wine, but it may give the wine a smoother or silkier feel.
Since all rosé is made a little differently, they will all have slightly different aromas and flavors. This depends on how long the skins are in contact with the grape pulp during maceration, what grape varietals are being used, and what vessel it is matured in (oak or stainless steel.
In the previous paragraph, you learned that most rosé grapes are in contact with their skins from two to twenty four hours. The longer the maceration, the darker the color of the wine, and also the more characteristics in the wine. Skins impart flavor, color, and texture to the wine.
Common aromas and flavors in a rosé wine are fresh red fruits, some citrus, floral, and minerality.
You can find rosé just about anywhere you can find wine! It just depends on what you are looking for. I buy a lot of my rosé at my local grocery store. It has become so popular in the recent years, that you can often find some great values and varieties. It is always best to go to your local wine shop and talk with a professional about what your preferences are and what you are looking for. Trader Joe’s is another option if you are looking for a lower price point!
Rosé from Provence is the most well known and common across the world. In the South of France, many of the vineyards are located right along the sea with breezy hillsides. These wines typically have more mineral characteristics from the limestone and chalky soils in the Provence region.
When you are at a restaurant, be sure to ask for any specials they are serving and what rosé they have in stock. If you would like more information on how to order a glass or a bottle of wine, check out my post on ordering wine when you are out to eat!
Whispering Angel, Châtea d’Esclans
Côtes de Provence Rosé, Miraval
Côte des Roses, Gérard Bertrand
Château de Selle, Domaines Ott
There are rosé wines being made everywhere that there is wine being made! Some of my other favorites come from California and right here in Virginia.
Charles & Charles, Washington
Crosé, King Family Vineyards
Wines that are fresh and light in color can be served chilled at 40 degrees and consumed immediately. If it is deeper in color it can be served slightly chilled at 45-50 degrees, recorked and saved for up to 3 days. If it is a higher quality rose that has seen some barrel aging, it may be best served at 50 – 55 degrees and can stay good in your fridge for up to 5 days.
As always, serving depends on personal preference. I love to have my rosé chilled because I typically drink it on a hot, sunny day! My favorite way to enjoy rosé is in a glass with a longer stem so I do not risk warming the glass with my hands.
If you are interested in learning more about Rosé and how it’s made, check out my favorite wine books below! Not only are they super informative but also fabulous books for decor on your bar cart!
I would love to hear from you all what your favorite rosé wines are! Leave them in the comments below! Cheers!