Rosés are the ultimate summer wine! Bright & vibrant, with beautiful hues from pale pink to almost red, they often have pronounced aromas of strawberry and watermelon, and are mouthwateringly refreshing on the palate. Possessing many white wine qualities, combined with attributes from their red grape origins, their crispness, body, and acidity make them outstanding aperitifs, and they are beautiful wines for pairing with food. Salads and pastas, fish courses and poultry are all excellent partners, and given the right accompaniments, these wines will make a perfect match with many a cheese.
Here at Oliver’s Market, we have an amazing domestic and international selection of Rosés, including some delicious gems from right here in our own backyard. Take advantage of this special pricing to stock up on your favorites or try something new.
Before we get any further, do you know how Rosé is made? Any red wine grape can be used and it can happen in three ways:
Direct Press Method: A winemaker harvests and presses fully ripe red wine grapes, leaving the skins with the juice for a limited period to extract desired color before removing the skins from the tanks.
Many people are not aware that the juice inside of both red and white grapes is a clear liquid. Grape skins contain pigments which give the grape – and wine — its color. In contrast to red wine making, the winemaker removes the skins once the fermenting must has achieved the desired pink color.
Many winemakers profess that direct press rosé is the purest form. It preserves all of the light red fruit, citrus, melon, and floral aromatics of the wine
Saignée or Bled Method: Saignée (sohn-yay) means “to bleed,” and is one of the most common ways to make rosé. Like the direct press method, a winemaker starts with ripe red wine grapes, but in this case the grapes are harvested for making a red wine.
When the grapes are brought to the winery, they are put into a fermentation vessel for anywhere from two hours to several days. During this time, the weight of the grapes on top of each other cause the grapes to break open, allowing the juice to come out. Similar to the direct press method, the clear grape juice comes in contact with the pigments of the grape skins. Since the juice and grapes are together in a large vessel, the amount of pigment that the juice extracts from the skins is greater, causing the juice to turn a darker hue of pink. Once the desired time frame is up, the winemaker will “bleed,” or drain off a portion of the juice from the tank. A lovely shade of pink juice is now separated and able to ferment on its own without any more color extraction.
Saignée method rosés are often darker in color than direct press rosés and sometimes have more dark fruit notes of dark cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and herbal notes like eucalyptus or bay laurel. This method is very popular in Spain where they produce very dark red wines such as Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mencia, Bobal, and Trepat.
Blending Method: A less common third option is also used, which involves blending red and white wine lots together to achieve the desired style outcome.
Rosé Color and Style
The color, body, and overall style profile of Rosé varies based on the red grape variety used, the winemaking method selected, and the winemaker’s desired style. As a result, color is not always an indicator of body, but is a great place to start!
We called this week’s special sale a Tournament of Rosés, but really the only winners that matter here are the ones you like best! In case you would like to handicap your choices, we asked our Wine Team to share their ‘winners’, and here they are:
Chateau de Valcombe Rosé 2020, Costieres de Nimes, France. 750 ml Bottle
“This has been my “go-to” rosé for a while! Pale salmon color and a silky mouthfeel with beautiful berry and stone fruit flavors make for a perfect aperitif or an accompaniment to many dishes.” – Richard Williams, Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer
Liquid Geography Rosé 2020, Spain. 750 ml Bottle
“Elegant, dry Spanish rosé with linear acidity, elevating juicy red currants and wild strawberries toward a beautiful minerally finish. And 100% of proceeds raised help support cancer research, education, and hunger relief around the globe!” – Ally Williams, Corporate Wine Buyer’s Assistant
Angels & Cowboys Rosé 2021, Sonoma County. 750 ml Bottle
“A beautiful Grenache based Rosé complimented with Syrah and Carignane and wrapped in a simple, yet elegant package. On the palate, Rainier Cherry, strawberry, and guava appear alongside a zesty acidity. This bottle will spoil your taste buds without hurting your wallet!” – Brandon Witwicki, Windsor Wine Department Manager
Wolffer Estate Summer in a Bottle Rosé 2021, France. 750 ml Bottle
“Nice! A wonderful bright and tangy Rosé from Cotes du Provence that really lets you know it. A little spritz gives a zippy mouthfeel and the refreshing bright berries with a touch of citrus are so nicely presented. Share this with a glass and a patio!” – David Riley, Stony Point Wine Department Manager
Alexander Valley Vineyards Rosé 2021, Sonoma County. 750 ml Bottle
“One of my all-time favorite wines, this Rosé is lush, provocative, and ravishing. The unique thing about this Rosé is that is made of the Sangiovese grape. And while it has a lot of the usual red berry flavors, it always seems to have a hint of citrus on the finish. The bottle will disappear quickly, so buy two.” – Justin Bowman, Cotati Wine Department Manager
Balletto Rosé 2021, Russian River Valley. 750 ml Bottle
“100% Pinot Noir! This wine is cold fermented to complete dryness in 100% stainless steel. 30% of the wine goes through a complete malolactic fermentation for added weight. Lush fruit that is filled with ripe strawberries followed by zippy amounts of tropical fruit. Easy drinking and one of the best local Rosés we carry!” – Matteo Polverari, Montecito Wine Department Manager
Versatile and delicious, enjoy your glass of chilled Rosé anywhere and anytime. It seems to be especially lovely when sipped outdoors at a picnic or on a patio, but that is just the beginning! Check out our Rosé cocktail recipes for Rosé and Berry Mojito or a Rosé Margarita. Take your Rosé focused evening to new heights by making a Rosé Granita or Peach Panna Cotta with Rosé Jelly.
Delicious, versatile, refreshing, and celebrating the season, Rosés are just the ticket to make summer (and all year) just that much more fun! Cheers!