Rosé All Day
Rosé All Day
Its summer time! And that means its time to drink pink! Summertime is the perfect time to explore all of the beautiful and unique styles of rose that are typically released in late spring early summer. Rose styles are as varying as they are delicious; from light and sweet to crisp and refreshing. The varying flavors, styles, and brands of rosé can make tasting and exploring different producers very enjoyable. The first question you might have is, what exactly is rosé, and what makes each style unique? Through this post I hope to describe the different styles, and offer some suggestions, in hopes of helping you find your perfect summer rose!
Rosés can vary dramatically in taste, color, and grape varietal. Each varietal offers different characteristics and each style is made differently. Knowing how each style is made, and the resulting characteristics, will help you decide which style you are interested in tasting. There are multiple methods to making a rosé; the most common is the maceration method.
During the maceration method, red wine grapes are crushed and left to soak on their skins for a limited number of hours. Unlike white wines, which are immediately pressed off their skins, rosé wines stay on their skins anywhere from 6-48hours. Red wines get their color from skin contact, the longer the juice soaks in the skins, the darker the color of the wine will be, and this is no different for rose. At desired saturation, the pink tinted juice is then pressed off of the skins and left to continue fermenting.
Another method of rosé production is using the Saignée (San-yay) method, also known as the “bleeding” method. Winemakers who use this method will follow the same process as when making a red wine, yet the result will be both a rose and a concentrated red wine (usually of Pinot Noir). Once the juice has soaked on skins for between 6-24 hours, the rose juice is ‘bled’ off and the remaining, more concentrated red wine is left to continue fermenting. This method is less common, and tends to produce a more concentrated rosé and red wine.
Lastly, winemakers can blend a red and a white wine to make a rosé. Winemakers using this method will blend a small amount of a red wine into a white wine to make it pink. This method is used mostly in the Champagne region, where Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay are blended together to make a sparkling rosé.
In the past, rosé has had a bad reputation for being overly sweet and unsophisticated, being associated with styles like sweet white Zinfandel. Recently, this style has shifted to producers making rosé is in a dry or off dry style, focusing on light, refreshing and mineral driven styles without the residual sugar. Rose can be made from any red grape varietal, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Grenache, etc. Rosé can range in flavors, depending on the grape varietal and amount of contact the wine has had with its skins. Some of the most common flavors for rosé are strawberry, rose petal, melon, citrus zest, and even rhubarb. If you’re picky with your pink wine, I always recommend going to your local winery where you can taste the wine (hint hint: De Tierra) to pick up a rosé.
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