This variety of wine originated in Provence in Southern France but is now made throughout the winemaking world. Made from black grapes, Rosé is made by using a production method called maceration. Maceration means that the black grapes are gently crushed and the juice is allowed to sit with the skins for a given amount of time, depending on the hue desired by the winemaker. This is done so the juice can extract the color from the grape skins. After maceration is complete, the wine is fermented, like white wines, off the skins. The fermentation vessel, as well as the fermentation temperature, dictates the style of wine produced. Cooler temperatures create wines that are fruity tasting. Warmer temperatures result in wines that have deeper structure.
Most Rosés are made to be consumed in one to three years of its release. Unlike red wines, Rosés do not typically improve with time. Rosé wines come in a range of pinks just as the flowers in bloom during spring. At your local wine boutique you will see pale salmon-colored Rosés and others that are almost neon pink. Light and fruity, Rosés have flavors and aromas of raspberries, strawberries, red currants, and cherries with undertones of dried herbs, spices, and floral notes.
Tips for Buying Rosé:
- If you’re unfamiliar with Rosé try out the current vintage, 2011. There are plenty of inexpensive options for your first tasting. You will be able to find bottles ranging from 10 to 30 dollars.
- Ask about grape variety. Rosé blends and can be made from a variety of grapes such as Syrah, Pinot Noir, Malbec, and others.
- Don’t know if you like dry or off-dry? Ask your local wine boutique employee for advice, they’ll be glad to help and can steer you in the right direction. Remember that Old World Rosés are traditionally dry while New World Rosés may be either dry or off-dry. Some labels will indicate this.
Try out these delicious Rosés:
Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah 2011 (Chile)
Gaia 14-18h Rosé 2011 (Greece)
Live a Little Rather Revealing Rosé 2011 (South Africa)
M de Minuty Rosé 2011 (France)
Bernheim Pinotage Rosé 2010 (South Africa)