Although rosé wine may not be the most popular choice of wine variety, once you have a glass, you will notice the drop is more popular than you first thought, especially if you appreciate the flavour. Best served chilled and served soon after release, the rosé is not to be savoured, but to drink partnered with a wide range of foods.
Neither white nor of the red variety, the rosé is a pink wine produced from red grapes with minimal skin contact, similar to the white wine process. The main differences in rosé varieties is the grapes used, the residual sugar at the end, the alcohol levels, and of course the region of origin.
Flavours to expect from a rosé wine
Just like whites and reds, the rosé flavours depend on the variety of grapes used, flavours resemble savoury fruits like blackberries, plums and cherries. Rosé wines are light and crispier to drink, thus making it an ideal wine to drink over the warmer months.
How do you make rosé?
It’s a common assumption that rosé is simply a blend of white and red wine made from pressing white and blue grapes together. In fact, winemakers are not actually allowed to make it that way – not if the wine is to be labelled as rosé.
Rosé wine is, in fact, made exclusively from the same blue grapes that red wine is produced. These grapes have a light, often colourless juice and so this leaves us wondering, where does the dark red colour come from? Well, this is because of the blue and red pigments derived from the grape skins, not in fact from the juice of the grape.
So, to understand the rosé wine making process, let’s take a closer look at the production of red and white wine. With red wines, the grape skins are simply fermented together with the juice and, in the process, they release their colour. With white wines, only the grape juice is fermented.
So when does wine become a rosé?
The release of the colour pigments during the production of red wine typically occurs over a few weeks and, if interrupted (after just a few hours), only the slightest colouring would have been released from the grape skins. This is when the rosé winemaker takes control over the colour of the wine. Once the juice has taken on a slight red hue, it’s pressed and transferred into another tank where it continues to ferment. This will eventually be bottled as rosé wine.
So, let’s go back to the initial question, what exactly is rosé wine, the simple answer is, it’s fermented red wine which has had minimal contact with the skins of the grape.