With summer on the way, I thought it appropriate to talk about rosé wine. Rosé is a popular Spring and Summer drink, as it is a chilled wine with light and fruity characteristics. I’m sure many of you will be heading to the grocery store to pick up a bottle or few for your barbecues or pool parties, so why not take a brief moment to learn what it is that you are planning to drink?
As you may know, there are many rosés out there to choose from that are sparkling or still, and that range from sweet to bone dry. Rosés should be consumed within a few years of being produced (as it is not made for aging), and should always be served chilled. Rosé wine is typically made with red grapes; however, the colors tend to be lighter (pink, purple, and pale orange.) The amount of time the grape juice sits with the grapes skins will dictate what a wine’s color will be (the longer the juice sits with the skin, the darker the color will be.) As such, during the rosé wine making process, the skins and solids are removed from the juice after a short period of time (hours to a few days), which creates a color much lighter than that of red wine. There are 4 rosé wine making methods, which you will see explained below.
1. Maceration – This is the most commonly used method. The grapes are crushed, and the juice, skins, and solids (which is called must) sit together until the desired color is reached. At that time, the juice is separated from the must, and is fermented on its own.
2. Presse – This is when a winemaker will press red grapes until the juice reaches the desired color, and then it is removed to be fermented separately.
3. Saignée or bleeding – A winemaker will remove some of the juice from a red wine vat. The term is also used for a process whereby the weight of grapes is utilized. A winemaker will pile grapes on top of each other so that the bottom grapes are crushed by the top grapes, releasing the juice.
4. Blending – This is simply blending a red and white wine together to create a rosé color. It is a rare method that does not produce a high quality rosé wine, as it’s a method just for color blending (vs. flavor blending.)
Rosé wines are pretty versatile when it comes to food pairings. It goes with just about anything. However, I would recommend serving it with lighter foods (i.e. light salads, pasta, seafood, or Asian food.) Also, if you are looking for recommendations, below are the Wine Gifted favorites.
Bolgheri DOC Rosato Guado al Tasso Scalabrone
Jc Garnier Vigneron Brut Nature [sparkling]
I will conclude this article with a bit of nutritional info for the health conscious folks. Your typical glass of rosé (5 ounces) will be 124 calories, and the alcohol by volume content of 12.5% to 13.5%.
Happy rosé wine drinking!