Think Pink: What You Need To Know About Rosé

If you've ever wondered if pink wine gets its colour from pink grapes or asked yourself "is rosé a grape variety?"  - then this blog is for you!

WHAT IS ROSÉ?

 

Rosé is a style of wine made by using the juice of red wines grapes. It can be produced using almost any variety of red grape. Its pink hue typically comes from pressing the grape skins for a short period of time with the juice, which imparts both colour and character. Rosé can also be made into champagne or sparkling wine. 

 

RIEDEL Extreme Rosé

WHAT GRAPES ARE USED TO MAKE ROSÉ?

Rosé can be made from almost any red wine grape variety. 

Depending on the style and character that the winemaker wants, the wine can either be a single variety or a blend to add different complementary components, just as you would when blending a red wine. The varieties used to produce rosé changes depending on the country or region, as winemakers will use the red wine grapes that grow best in that area. For example, winemakers may use Pinot Noir in California, Shiraz in Australia, Grenache in France, or Montepulciano in Italy.

In the case of rosé champagne, producers primarily use the same three varieties as with classic champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Outside of the Champagne region, producers from other regions can use any red variety as they would with still rosé.

RIEDEL Extreme Rosé

HOW DOES ROSÉ GET ITS COLOUR?

Wine gets its colour from the grape skin as the juice is clear. 

Red grape skins are included with the juice during the fermentation stage during a process called "skin contact". The longer the contact, the deeper the colour. Rosé undergoes a short period of skin contact – anywhere from 2-24 hours – depending on whether the winemaker wants to achieve a deep pink or soft coral hue, what kind of grape they are using, and the style they are producing. Grape skins also add depth to wines; it is one of the main contributors of tannin to red wines.

There are a few different techniques for achieving colour in rosé champagne; find out about them below.

RIEDEL Performance Pinot Noir/Rosé Champagne

HOW IS ROSÉ MADE?

There are three methods used to make rosé. 

The most popular method is the one described above, called "maceration", where you press the skins with the juice before removing them and continuing to make the wine as you would any other. It is most commonly made as you would a fresh, aromatic white wine such as Pinot Gris: fermented in steel rather than aged with oak chips or in oak barrels.

The second method is called saignée, or bleeding, and involves portioning off some juice from a red wine production, which is then taken through the next steps of winemaking to produce rosé. This method produces a richer, more in-depth rosé AND a richer red wine as it leaves a higher ratio of skins to juice. It is also sometimes used to make rosé champagne.

The final method is where you blend a small portion of red wine into a vat of white wine – just on a bit more of an advanced level than when you've joked about doing it at home! This method is not very common with still wines but is the preferred way of making rosé champagne.

Enjoy Rosé wine

WHAT'S THE TYPICAL FLAVOUR PROFILE OF ROSÉ?

A couple of factors will influence the aromas and flavours of the rosé: the grape varieties used and how it is made. Typical characters will include red fruits, citrus, florals, and a savoury element that grounds the wine: this could be anything from white pepper to green melon or olives. 

However, as rosé can be produced from such a wide range of grapes, its characteristics can change vastly. The great thing about rosé is that there is a style to suit almost every palate: fruity, savoury, floral, or sweet. Take a look below to see some typical styles paired with food.

RIEDEL Extreme Rosé

WHAT ARE GOOD FOOD MATCHES FOR ROSÉ?

The majority of modern rosé across the world is made in a dry style: vibrant, crisp and fresh. 

Generally speaking, wines coming from Old World regions (predominantly Europe) are more mineral. This structured style is very well suited to chicken salads, vegetable dishes, tangy or salty cheese like goats’ cheese, and raw or grilled seafood.

Rosé from the New World regions (Californa, Australia) tend to be more fruit-driven. They offer richer, riper fruit made from wine varieties with thicker, more tannic skins, balancing sweetness with structure. They are perfect with spicy dishes or barbequed meat, which pack a bit more of a punch and suit a wine with a fuller body.

RIEDEL Extreme Rosé

HOW SHOULD ROSÉ BE SERVED?

For the most part, the style is designed to be consumed young to show off its freshness and vibrancy. Serve it at a similar temperature to aromatic whites: between 8°C - 10°C / 46°F - 50°F. This delicious temperature will perfectly suit a warm afternoon in the sun but won't be so cold to numb all the lively flavours. 

Rosé's tendency to be consumed young is also why it doesn't necessarily benefit from decanting. Using a decanter is an elegant way to serve wine and will add style to any setting, but there isn't as much to gain from aerating a young rosé as there is a red. Young red wines are packed with tannins which help them age gracefully, and aerating them through decanting helps to speed this up.

When it comes to glassware, RIEDEL has a selection of glasses designed to highlight the bouquet and freshness of rosé wines. Their shape balances fresh fruitiness with high acidity to bring out its typical red fruit and citrus characters.

RIEDEL Vinum Riesling Grand Cru/Zinfandel
Carton de 2
RIEDEL Vinum Riesling Grand Cru/Zinfandel
CAD 74.90
Quantité de boîtes 2
RIEDEL Vinum Riesling Grand Cru/Zinfandel
Carton de 2
RIEDEL Vinum Riesling Grand Cru/Zinfandel
CAD 74.90
Quantité de boîtes 2
RIEDEL Performance Riesling
Carton de 2
RIEDEL Performance Riesling
CAD 74.90
Quantité de boîtes 2
RIEDEL Veritas Riesling/Zinfandel
Carton de 2
RIEDEL Veritas Riesling/Zinfandel
CAD 84.90
Quantité de boîtes 2