Rosé All Day

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Rosé All Day

With summer here and the days warm and long, it’s time for every pink-drink lover’s favorite season: rosé! Rosé is known for its pretty pink color and refreshing floral, fruity, or citrus notes that make it an excellent drink for the summertime.

Because of its pinkish hue, rosé wine is often mistaken for being a mix of red and white wine. Rosé is its own type of wine, not a hybrid, and we don’t advise mixing red and white to try and make your own “at-home rosé”; there is a blending method (which we’ll discuss in a moment), but it’s difficult to create high-quality rosé with this method. So if not from mixing red and white, where does the pink coloring come from?

Color difference in wine is due to whether the wine is processed with the skin of the grapes; all grape juice is clear, no matter the color of the grape itself. Red wines are pressed and aged with grape skins, while whites are not. Aging with the skin produces the deep red of reds (and creates different flavors than aging without.)

Rosé is the in-between. The grapes are macerated--skins soaked with the juice for a short time (usually only for a few days)--until the wine takes on its iconic pink hue. Then the juice is separated from the grapes for it to age.

Maceration is the most common method for making rosé, but there are other options. Vineyards that make fine red wines will sometimes use the saignée method (the “bled” method). While making red wine, they separate some juice into a new vat for rosé in a process called “bleeding.” This makes a beautiful rosé, as well as makes the red wine more concentrated, thus producing a more intense flavor and color for the red.   

Remember when we said there was a way to make rosé with mixing white and red? The blending method of rosé add just a little bit of red wine to a vat of white wine. It doesn't take much red to dye white wine pink: about 5% or less. This method is uncommon with still rosés, but is used often in regions that specialize in sparkling wines. Ruinart’s rosé Champagne, for example, is mostly Chardonnay blended with a bit of red Pinot Noir.

While a refreshing glass of rosé is great on its own, it’s also the most versatile pairing wine due to its bright acidity and lack of tannins. Dry rosés are great with the lighter dishes common in summertime: fish, grilled chicken, and salads. Sweet rosés are great with barbecue, cutting through spice, smoothing out salt, and balancing smoke.

The one dish rosés don’t work well with? Dessert. The sweet taste of dessert can overpower the more subtle sweetness of the wine, leaving the bitter taste of alcohol. So enjoy a glass with your grilled dinner, but store the bottle when it’s time for ice cream.

Visit our winery to try our delicious rosé, and ask our experienced staff about the wine process and pairings! We’d love to share our knowledge with you.