Don’t let the cheery color and semi-transparent nature fool you. Often mysterious and misunderstood, we see our favorite pink drink as the James Dean (Think, Rebel Without a Cause) to the wine world. So, we made this list of 8 things that we think will help you get to know your Rosé better.
- Pick That New, New: You know how your Mom is always telling you that she gets better with age, but you’ve seen her looking longer for her keys each time she loses them? Yeah. Well, Rosé is basically in the same boat. Unlike other wine varieties, Rosé doesn’t improve with age. Rather, you are best off buying a recent vintage as Rosé is best within two years of bottling.
- “Stay Dry!”: One of the main reasons Rosé from its native Provence is so much better than its New World Counterparts is that it’s dry. A sweeter Rosé is more like a crappy take on Rosé rather than a true one. To keep your wine drinking rosey, ask for a dry Rosé.
- Sometimes, it Gets Mixed up: For all of you purists out there, hold onto your hats. Of course we all scoff at our wine lamen friends when they ask if Rosé is red and white wine mixed together. Well, it turns out that it is, well, sometimes. Some winemakers in the Champagne region of France do create some Rosé through the blending method. While many view this as a tacky, shortcut method. It’s important to note that much like Champagne itself, the Champagne region is the only region sanctioned to use this to utilize blending.
- Trois Méthodes: There are three accepted ways to make a Rosé:
- Maceration: In the case of Rosé, the skins visit the juice for only a day or two. After that, the juice is left to ferment sans skins (Skins is a great guy but only in small doses).
- Bleeding: a portion of the red wine is “bled” off (Saignée) before the maceration process leads to a dark wine. Important to note, that many Provencal connoisseurs don’t believe this to produce an authentic Rosé, including François Millo, President of the Provence Wine Council (CIVP).
- Blending: Aforementioned in number 3 on this list, only Rosé makers from the Champagne region can blend a red wine with a white wine and market it as Rosé. This makes blending a relatively uncommon method fraught with varying opinions regarding its legitimacy.
- It’s the Little Black Dress of Wines: Despite common belief, Rosé is not a one trick pony when it comes to pairings. Au Contraire! Rosés are incredibly versatile and pair well with spicy food, tomato based dishes and meat in addition to the classic light dish/seafood route.
- A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: Too often we see the poor Rosé subjected to cruel cases of mistaken identity. This of course is no truer than we see Rosé being served in a Champagne flute. To get the most out of your Rosé, serve it in a glass with a shallow bowl and a gently flared lip. Experts will tell you that this places the wine onto the correct part of your palate for proper tasting.
- Scared of the Pink Drink: As you likely know, Rosé has risen in popularity over the last couple of decades. Before that though, Rosé was sort of feared by wine drinkers as it had really gotten a bad rap. In the 60’s and 70’s, the decades in which Rosés first trended here in the U.S., the wine was typically syrupy sweet. The Rosés of today that we are privied to are much more dry, crisp and taken seriously.
- We all Bleed Pink: Rosé can be made from almost any type of wine grape. Cabernet, Syrah, Pinot, Mourvédre and more are used to create the delightful pink runoff that we prize. Regardless of the purple or red shade of the grape, it’s quick dip in the vat still results in a shade a pink. This gives Rosés depth because they offer such a wide variety in both color and flavor.
Photo credit: Festival and Feast