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  • Writer's pictureSierra Williams

A Rosé by any other name

10 things to know about rosé wine.

Fun Facts and common misconceptions.

1. Contrary to popular belief, not all rosé is sweet!

Many folks pass right by the pink sections of wine in the liquor store searching for something “dry” to satisfy their wine lust and make the perfect meal pairing. But wait! Take a step back. Don’t let the pink color fool you, not all rosés are sweet.

Oftentimes the level of sweetness is a factor of the grape varietal used in the winemaking process. For example, grape varieties such as white zinfandel, white merlot, and pink moscato are generally much sweeter. However, others are categorized as “dry rosés” and these varieties include but are not limited to: Pinot Noir, Malbec, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Sangiovese.

If you’re a connoisseur of dry wines, I would recommend branching out and selecting a crisp, dry rosé to enjoy.

2. Rosé is just for women. Myth!

We have been conditioned to associate pink with femininity from the time we were born. Can we throw that out the window? Let’s break down some barriers and reimagine.

Rosé has been enjoyed by macho men in other countries for centuries! It is not just a girly drink. It can range in flavor profile from crisp and bone dry with notes of wet stone to light, floral, fruity and refreshing. So fellas, be bold and drink pink on occasion.

3. Pink is always a blend of red and white. Myth!

Where does rosé get its gorgeous pink color? Any guesses?

No, it’s not that yucky Red dye 40. The different shades of pink that characterize rosé wines actually come from skin contact. The color from the grape skins bleeds into the juice and the shade can range anywhere from a subtle tint of orange to a bold pink.

There are a few primary methods to achieve that gorgeous hue of color people rave about: maceration, saignée, and blending.

Maceration- Maceration is the most common method. Grapes rest, macerate, in the juice for a period of time before the entire batch is finished into rosé wine.

Saignée- This rare method involves “bleeding” off a fraction of red wine juice after contact with the skins and seeds. This process leads to a more concentrated, bolder, darker rosé.

Blending- The blending method is more commonly used in sparkling wine regions, though a small percentage of winemakers use this approach for their still rosés. You start with a white wine and blend about five percent of a red wine until you achieve the desired color.

4. Young and sprung.

Most rosé wines taste better young, with certain exceptions. Typically, these wines should be enjoyed within two to three years after purchasing. Don’t plan on waiting for the perfect occasion to pop a bottle… be spontaneous, grab a bottle and make something mundane memorable.

5. Get your antioxidant fix.

Acaí bowls are yummy, but let’s be honest, a nice glass of liquid pleasure sounds better. And bonus! Rosé wines also provide antioxidants and have anti inflammatory compounds such as polyphenol that aids in reducing bad cholesterol. Need I say more? I think that justifies a glass. Or a bottle. No judgement here.

6. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match.

The characteristics of rosé make it a versatile wine for food pairings. It falls somewhat in the middle of the wine spectrum, therefore, it compliments a wide variety of dishes. Chicken, pork, salad, fish, vegetables, desserts…. You name it. We all have that one friend who gets along with everyone. Well folks, that friend is Rosé. If you’re not sure what to purchase for your next dinner party, try it out!

7. Different flavors from different grapes? Fact!

Rosé wines vary in flavor, this is largely dependent on the grape varietal chosen. As previously mentioned, the varietal chosen can impact the perceived sweetness of the wine. The mouth feel, bouquet, and other characteristics also vary depending on the variety chosen. We would encourage all the wine lovers out there to taste different vintages made from different varieties. You might gravitate more toward the darker, fruit forward wines with higher tannin levels. Or you may prefer the lighter wines with more delicate bouquets and flavors that spent less time soaking on the skins.

8. Some of the earliest wines ever made were pink. Fact!

These wines may be gaining popularity, but pink wine has been enjoyed for centuries! In fact, some of the earliest wines recorded were rosé. In ancient Greece, red and white grapes were crushed together by foot and placed into pithoi, large ceramic containers, for fermentation. The process led to an oxidized style wine with tannic flavor and pink hue due to the contact with grape skins, seeds, stems, and leaves. During this time, diluting red and white wine was considered civilized. Those who drank pure wine were viewed as barbaric.

Well cheers, barbarians! Enjoy that pure, full strength bottle.

9. Bubbles

Many still believe that rosé wines are all effervescent, meaning bubbly or fizzy. And yes, some are. But you can also find a very large selection of still rosés with unique complexity and flavor!

10. Rosé is only a Summertime drink. Myth!

Of course, rosé does make a delicious summertime beverage as some vintages are so light and refreshing; however, this wine can (and should) be enjoyed year round. Many of us struggle with seasonal depression during the cold dark winter months. Why not break up all of the grey? Pour yourself a glass of rosé to add a little color and brightness!


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