Many Shades of Rosé

Everything You Need To Know!

For this Mother’s Day, why not consider changing it up by celebrating with a rosé wine? While many are familiar with this beautifully colored pink wine, there is so much to learn about these special wines.  Louis XIV and Ernest Hemingway actually considered rosé to be their favorite wines. Their appealing color and easy drinkability make rosé wines a popular choice for celebrations and brunches, especially in the spring and summer months.

Rosé wines, often called blush wines, are typically produced from red grapes but have a much lighter color than red wine due to the winemaking process. Compared to red wines, rosé wines owe their lighter color and lower tannin content to significantly less contact with the grape skins during fermentation. As a result, rosé wines can have a spectrum of different colors, from light pink, to purple, to orange. Rosé wines are considered to be one of the most versatile wines because they pair well with just about any type of food, including salads, chicken, pork, veal, light pastas, and even spicy food.  Rosé wines are typically at their best within a few years of production and should always be served chilled.

Rosé isn’t a specific region of wine production; rather, it is considered to be a genre or type of wine. Rosé wine can be made anywhere in the world, with almost any type of grape. shutterstock_127791068
While the Mediterranean nations of France, Italy, and Spain are the primary producers of rosé, an increasing number of American wineries have begun producing rosé wines, such as the White Zinfandels of California.

Just like red and white wines, the styles of rosés can vary, from sweet to dry, or dark or light. A dry (i.e. not sweet) rosé wine is the most common style produced around the world. These dry wines are characterized as fresh and acidic, without having extra sugar to mask its flavors. Southern France and Spain lead the way in dry rosé wine production. Most wine experts agree that the world’s best rosé wines are found in southern France, more specifically the Rhone Valley and Provence. These regions tend to produce a dry wine, full of complexity, elegance, and character.  Here it is fairly typical to see a blend of 2-3 different grape varieties, like Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

While drier styles are found in Southern France and Spain, sweeter styles are more commonly found in California. The White Zinfandel is one of the more popular examples of sweet rosé wine. Rosé wines are produced in a sweet style by simply not fermenting all the sugar into alcohol. Other examples of sweet rosé wines are the White Merlot and Pink Moscato.

Rosé wines are among the most versatile, food-friendly wines you will find, and the vast majority of rosé wines offer an excellent value. It is not hard to find plenty of great options for under $20 per bottle. And what’s even better is that you don’t have to sacrifice quality or enjoyment with these lower priced alternatives. Cheers!

By:  Ryan Greeneshutterstock_36424000