Rosés are hotter than ever, and it’s easy to see why! They’re crisp and refreshing, pair with a wide variety of foods, and are a great value, even before the 20% discount! Let’s take a closer look at Rosé wines and break down exactly what they are and what you should look for when purchasing one.
The Provence region of southern France is widely considered to be the birthplace of Rosé wine. The ancient Greeks brought wine and vines with them when they came to the region around 600 BCE and founded the city of Marseille. Most of the wines produced were pale in color. Both red and white grapes were harvested and pressed together, with minimal skin contact, creating a lightly colored fruity wine. This style of wine became well known throughout the region, and even when the Romans introduced newer and more efficient wine presses, the lighter style of wine was still preferred over the newer, darker, harsher wines that were being made. Over time Rosé wine has evolved into what it is today. Some people will tell you that the best and truest Rosés still come from Provence, but we’ve had stunning Rosés from all over the world.
How is Rosé Made?
Rosé is produced from red wine grapes. The color of the wine comes from the skin contact with the fruit. The longer the contact, the darker the wine will be and vice-versa. There are three ways to produce Rosé wine: maceration, saignée, and blending.
Maceration is the process where the grapes are crushed and the juice and skins are kept in contact with each other for a period long enough to extract the desired amount of color. However, it can’t be so long that the tannins in the skins start to detract from the wine’s lively elegance. The juice is then separated from the skins and fermented.
Saignée is a French term for “bleeding.” In this process, the juice is bled off from a red wine fermentation early on so that the juice has a hint of color, but isn’t full blown red. Some people believe that rosé made in the Saignée process isn’t true rosé, but more of an afterthought since it is made from juice that will ultimately become a red wine. Why split hairs when enjoying something so delicious?
The blending method is where a small portion of finished red wine is added to a white base wine to make a pink colored wine. This method is outlawed in France, with the exception of making Champagne.
Flavor Profile and Food Pairing
It’s hard to nail down specifics on how Rosé wine tastes, but in general, they are more subtle versions of their red wine varietal counterparts. The fruit expressions lean towards strawberry, cherry and raspberry with some citrus and watermelon notes present at times as well. Like most wines, Rosé has a broad spectrum when it comes to sweetness ranging from ultra dry to fairly fruity and sweet.
Another great thing about Rosé wines is that they are extremely versatile when it comes to food, and will match well with almost any dish you select. Pair a Rosé with anything from a charcuterie plate to fish, pork, turkey, barbecued meats, or even fresh green salads.
When it comes down to it, Rosés are tasty and fun to experiment with. At 20% off, pick one from the Russian River Valley, one from Washington, and another from Provence and hold a Rosé tasting party with some friends. You’ll be amazed at the differences!