Since this is my 401st blog article, I wanted to write about something fun. Since we are into the hot days of summer, what better wines to discuss than Rosés? There is not much more comforting on a hot summer day than sitting around eating al fresco with several bottles of chilled Rosé to accompany the food and the elements!
Wikipedia defines Rosé as a type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. Over the past months I have tasted a number of Rosé wines as our tasting team continues to build our 530 Wine Bar wine list. We have tasted both “Old World” and “New World” Rosés from light pink to almost red in color…some good and some not good at all.
I still tend to regard Rosés as a go-to seasonal or summer wine. There is a large range of styles and colors available in a large price range for you to enjoy. Rosé wine also falls into the “if it’s pink, drink within the year you purchase it.” Most Rosé wines are not produced to last more than a year, or one season.
Rosé is typically made from a red grape varietal. The grapes most often used are Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tampranillo, Sangiovese and Zinfandel. They can be used individually or in a blend. Rosé wines are most often country-dependent. A Rosé (Rosado) from Spain will, most likely, be made from either Tempranillo or Grenache grapes. If from Italy, the Rosé will most likely be made from Sangiovese grapes. And, if from the United States, the grapes used most likely will be Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel.
How Rosé is Made
There are several methods used to make Rosé wines. The most common method is the limited maceration method. The grapes are crushed to make what is called a “must” and the white juice, and red skins, stay in contact for some period of time. This is referred to as “skin contact” method. The skins and juice remain together typically two to 20 hours or until the desired color is achieved. Once that happens, the skins are removed so the juice can begin fermentation.
The second method is called saignée (pronounced sohn-yay). In this method some juice is removed from a vat of red wine early in the winemaking process. This method results in a more intense red wine, while the lighter color juice that remains in the vat is used to make Rosé.
Rosé also may be made by blending red and white wines. This is relatively rare. Sparkling Rosé and Champagne are perhaps the most common wines made this way.
Flavor Profile of Rosé Wine
The flavors of Rosé wines tend to be more subtle versions of the grapes they are made from. The fruit flavors lean toward strawberry, cherry, raspberry and, at times, citrus and watermelon. Rosé wine can be ultra-dry to fairly fruity, depending on the wine region and the winemaker.
I suggest you try a wide range of “Old World” and “New World” style Rosés to discover which ones you like the best. Consulting with your wine shop team for advice may also be helpful.
As always, I appreciate your support of our wine blog and encourage you to share it with family and friends. If you care to share your comments on this blog posting or other topics, please do so in the comments section below.
Until next week,
Upcoming Wine Events For 2021
9/10/21 September Wine Dinner featuring music by Julia James (details coming soon)
9/24/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
10/5/21 Oktoberfest Dinner with Iechyd Da Brewing Co. with music by Patti Vreugdenhil
10/22/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
11/5/21 November Wine Dinner featuring music by Checkmark Sallie
11/19/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event