Rosé Wine - All You Need To Know About This Pink Delight!

It’s not red, it’s not white— it’s rosé wine (pronounced row·zay). A charming wine with a lovely shade of pink, rosé has been gaining popularity among wine enthusiasts, especially during warm, sunny days or for celebratory moments. So, if it is not red or white, then what is it? Let us tell you!

What is Rosé Wine?
Rosé wine is a type of wine that falls between red and white wine, both in colour and taste. It gets its beautiful pink hue from the skin of red grape varieties, which is in contact with the grape juice for a shorter period of time during the winemaking process as compared to red wine. The brief skin contact gives the wine its appealing pink colour, making it stand out in the glass.

How is Rosé Wine Made?
There are four primary methods to make rosé wine. These methods are usually not listed on a bottle, but knowing them can definitely help you decide and pick the right bottle of  rosé for you!

Limited Skin Maceration Method:
The most widely used technique for crafting rosé wine is known as the maceration method (crush em’ grapes!). This approach is quite straightforward, as it involves allowing the crushed grapes' juice to remain in contact with the skins, much like how red wine is made. However, the key difference here lies in the duration of this contact, which is very limited for rosé production. Depending on the desired style of rosé, this contact period can vary from anywhere between six to 48 hours, significantly shorter than the weeks or months required for red wines. 

The duration of maceration directly influences the colour and flavour profile of the rosé, with longer maceration resulting in a deeper hue and richer taste. After the timer goes off, the juice is then separated and sent off into fermentation, resulting in a very charming rose-tinted wine. The maceration method offers a winemaker immense versatility, allowing for the creation of various rosé styles based on the grape variety and maceration length.

Direct Press Method:
Similar to limited skin maceration, the direct pressing method involves a brief contact (very, very little time) between the grape juice and the skins. However, unlike the maceration method where the juice stays in contact with the skins for a limited time, in direct pressing, the grapes are immediately pressed to extract the juice, similar to the process used for making white wine. Since the grape skins still impart some colour to the juice, it is inevitable for the juice to have some contact with the skins. The longer the skins are in contact with the juice, the deeper the colour of the rosé will be. After the desired colour is achieved, the juice is separated from the skins and undergoes fermentation to become rosé wine. A rosé born of this method are usually the lightest coloured ones, and would typically (remember, flavours depend on the variety of grapes too) carry a strawberry and citrus flavour. 

Saignée Method:
In this technique, red wine producers "bleed off" a portion of juice from their red wine tanks shortly after the grape crush (that’s why it is also called the “bleeding method”). The removed juice, which is light in colour, is then fermented separately to become rosé wine that are usually rich in style. 

Blending Method:
Less common but still used, this method involves blending red and white wines together to create rosé (after fermentation). Sounds simple, right? However, this practice is more regulated in some wine regions, with it being banned for PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) wines in Europe, with one exception: Champagne. Wines resulting from a blending method can differ in style, ranging from light to full-bodied, depending on the quantity and variety of red wine incorporated into the blend.

Rosé Flavors and Styles
Rosé wines come in various styles, and their flavours can range from dry to sweet, depending on the winemaking process and the grape varieties used. Common tasting notes in rosé wines include: strawberry, watermelon, citrus, floral and mineral.

Pairing Rosé with Food
One of the best things about rosé wine is its versatility in food pairings. Whether you're enjoying a casual meal with friends or a sophisticated dinner, rosé can complement a wide range of dishes. Here are some fantastic food pairings for rosé wine:

  1. Light Salads: Rosé wines' refreshing and crisp nature makes them an excellent match for light salads, especially those with vinaigrette dressings.
  1. Seafood: The delicate flavours of seafood, such as grilled shrimp or oysters, pair wonderfully with rosé wine.
  1. Grilled Meats: Whether it's grilled chicken, pork, or even barbecue, rosé's fruit-forward profile can balance the smoky flavours.
  1. Spicy Cuisine: Rosé wines with a hint of sweetness can help cool down spicy dishes, making them a perfect choice for Thai or Indian cuisine.
  1. Soft Cheeses: Creamy and soft cheeses like goat cheese or Brie pair harmoniously with the fruitiness of rosé wine.

Choosing Your Next Rosé
Ready to try rosé, or looking for something new to explore? Worry not, we’ve got just the right list for you. Give these bottles a try:

  1. Le Poteau Rosé Igp 2022: This lovely Rosé guarantees refreshing notes of raspberry, pomegranate and watermelon whilst carrying a smooth mouthfeel and medium acidity. Its flavour is as original as its beginnings.
  1. Cavit Collection Rosé 2018: With beautiful aromas of fresh strawberry and cherries, this medium-bodied rosé is fresh with flavours of ripe red fruits. Ideal with all fish dishes, white meat and lighter first courses as well as an apéritif. Pizza & dumplings are the best pairings for something to cut rich fatty food.
  1. Roscato Rosé Dolce: Bright pink colour with ruby highlights. Delicate aroma, with red fruit notes. Pleasant sweet flavour with fruity aftertaste sustained by a pleasant acid note. Just the right amount of fizz.
  1. Lucy Margaux Rosato 2022: Natural wine, simply made, Rosé from Pinot Gris and Sangiovese fruit. Pink hues through luminescent rose gold, giving rise to wild orchards and heritage roses. The perfumed delicately blooms into the atmosphere capturing negative space, building beautiful feelings.

Rosé wine is a delightful and versatile option for those looking to explore the world of wines. With its vibrant pink colour, refreshing flavours, and wide-ranging food pairings, it's no wonder why rosé has become a popular choice among wine enthusiasts.