Rosé All Day...ALL DAY!

1 comment Jun 23, 2023by Andrew Lowry

by Andrew Lowry

How rosé is made

Rosé is essentially the middle ground between white and red wine, and can be made in one of three ways:

Limited Maceration

The winemaker (aka vigneron), starts making red wine, but instead of leaving the grape skins all mixed in with the grape juice for the entire fermentation period, she removes the skins after her desired beautiful rosé color has been achieved. This can be as little as 20 seconds to as much as 24 hours depending on the grape variety used.

Then the skins are recycled, and the perfectly pink juice is left to continue fermenting alone! And voilà! Rosé has been made.

This may be the most common way to make rosé.

Saignée

Or 'bleeding off', this is when the vigneron creates rosé as a byproduct of wanting to create a fuller-bodied, deeper-hued red wine.

Simply, during the process of making said red wine, the vigneron drains some of the grape juice away from the red wine tank and transfers this into its own tank. Now the vigneron has a red wine to her liking, and instead of wasting the juice she pulled away, she ferments this and sells it as rosé!

These rosés are typically the most expensive and are some of the only rosés that can be aged for a number of years. Bandol and Tavel are two famous rosé producing appellations in France and frequently use this method.

Blending

In this way, the vigneron simply blends white and red wines together to create rosé! This is how Champagne makes their rosé, as well as many other regions. But this is weirdly not allowed in a lot of areas...maybe it's just too easy.

Famous styles of rosé

Rosé is made in every wine-producing country, and it is quickly gaining in popularity amongst the younger crowd due to its perfectly Instagrammable and Tik Tok-able color. Long seen as inferior to red and white wine because it just doesn't fit into either category, rosé is here to say we are fun, yet serious — kinda business in the front party in the back vibes. Here are some of the popular rosés:

Bandol 

Located in Provence, Bandol produces all types of wine and really good rosé. These rosés will be at least half Mouvèdre by law, with the remaining percentage coming mostly from Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, and Carignan. These are the best rosés in the Provençal style. 

Tavel

Tavel is located in the Southern Rhone appellation of France, snugged up against Provence, and ONLY MAKES ROSÉ. Made from primarily Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Cinsault, the wines from here are usually deeply pink, almost cherry colored, and can be aged for years. This rosé can be ultra expensive, but worth a try.

South of France

The South of France is the epicenter of rosé in our opinion. We mean, c'mon, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie own an estate in the South of France and own the rosé wine company, Miraval. You will see almost all the celebrity-owned rosés coming out of the South of France.

The Côtes de Provence and the Pays d'Oc, to the west (part of Languedoc-Roussillon), put out quintessential light-bodied, light pink, delicious rosé that is perfect for a summer day at the beach.

Champagne

Rosé Champagne and sparkling rosé is all the hype. Not only can you be ultra-posh and have champagne, but you can also have it look extra cool by being pink! 

In all honesty, this stuff is super good (and super expensive). We think the extended time with the skins imparts more flavor and a touch more body that ultimately provides for a better bubbly experience. 

Getariako Txakolina

This wine region from the Basque Country of Spain makes amazing rosé from two indigenous grape varietals, Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza, in a lightly sparkling style. Don't ask us how to pronounce this wine region — it just doesn't make sense. Also, don't be surprised to taste Jalapenos! 

Rosé of (Insert Grape Varietal Here)

Rosé is made from many many grapes, but the most common are Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Mouvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, and Tempranillo. Each varietal will impart its own unique notes and flavors, but generally speaking, we think rosé's mild flavor is why it is so agreeable with most people. 

White Zinfandel

While this is part of the above category it's worth singling out. Rosé of Zinfandel is more commonly known as 'white zin', and was made popular by Sutter Homes winemaker, Bob Trinchero. You've probably seen this in the supermarket in a boxed wine format, and maybe even 'slapped the bag' in college, not knowing that what you were chugging was, in fact, rosé. 

Most white zin is disgustingly sweet (sorry for those of you who like it — come see us for a free consultation), and cheap jug wine. However, white zin is making a comeback! Some producers are making elegant, dry to off-dry, fruity rosé of zinfandel that is every bit as good as the best rosés out there.

Conclusion:

Thanks for reading! This is just a snapshot of the World of Rosé as it is just as broad of a topic as red or white wine is. It would take us ages to write about every rosé out there just as it would if we listed every single red wine grape and style from every appellation. 

Just know that rosé is FANTASTIC, and it isn't always sweet! Remember, White Zinfandel is mounting a comeback!

Our rosé picks! 

Sciacca + Nielluc Island of Rose 2022

Domaine Poli Sciacca + Nielluc Island of Rose Ile de Beaute Corsica Rose  2021 - Flask Fine Wine

Jim Duane, Rose of Pinot Noir, Monterey, 2021

Kinero Cellars, Rosé of Grenache, 2022

Tank Garage, Pray for Surf, Rosé, Sierra Foothills 2021 (SOLD OUT)

Ameztoi Rubentis, Txakolina Rose, 2021

Wolffer, Summer in a Bottle, Cotes de Provence Rose, 2022

 *** all can be found at Bird Rock Fine Wine or use the Wine-Searcher app to find the store nearest you that sells these

 

 

 


1 comment


  • Angela Lowry June 23, 2023 at 9:45 am

    Can’t wait to see the podcast!


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