Don’t let the light red color lead you to believe that Rosé is a lightweight when it comes to good wine. Or that pink = sweet.
The pink, sweet White Zinfandels of years past gave Rosé a bad name, but great Rosé wines are made around the world. It’s well worth exploring the variations from different grapes and styles.
Here are a few to try and bit about the process. And let us know your local favorites!
Rosé by Country
France, and especially Southern France’s Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon areas, may be most well known for Rosé. They’re dry, delicate, complex, elegant and even a little tannic. French Rosé are generally made from Grenache and Syrah.
One to try: Cotes de Provence Rosé. This renowned French appellation produces delicate wines with pale copper hue.
Italy is also a big producer of Rosé, which is called Rosato.
One to try: Sangiovese Rosato, made from the iconic grape of Italy.
Spain creates Rosé, called Rosada, commonly from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache).
One to try: Garnacha Rosada for a deep, meaty, rich Rosé.
And since Rosé can be made from any red grape, the results are nearly endless. Locally, we have seen Rosé made from the grapes mentioned above, as well as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Cinsault, Aglianico, Merlot, and many more. And all worth a try.
The Process of Making Rosé
Making a Rosé starts very much like creating a red wine and ends like creating a white wine.
After destemming, the red grape skins are left in contact with the juice (called maceration) until the desired color is reached.
Typically, this takes from 2 to 20 hours. (In comparison, red wine can be left on the skins for weeks.)
When the desired color is reached, and before the juice becomes deep red, the juice is removed from the skins. The fermentation process continues without the skins like with white wine.
A less-common method is Saignee, which produces Rosé wine as a byproduct of red wine production using a portion of juice that is bled off after a few hours.
Colors, Aromas, and Tastes of Rosé
Rose colors range from beautiful pinks to salmons to coppers.
Aromas depend on the grape used, but typical Rosé aromas are cranberry, red currant, raspberry.
Typical flavors include strawberry, honeydew melon, rose petal, celery, orange peel, lemon, and watermelon.