Meet the Wines: What IS Rosé

We’ve done the reds, we’ve done the whites, now it’s time to tread the middle and meet the Rosés.

Rosés (Spanish: rosado, Italian: rosato, N.America: sometimes blush) are, generally speaking, a wine with more of a white wine profile from traditionally red wine grapes. And Rosé can be produced in three ways–two of which I knew about.

  • Skin Contact starts out like regular red wine, with the grape skins hanging out with the juice, but instead of co-macerating for the long haul, the skins are pulled out after only a few days, leaving the wine on the pink end of the spectrum but well before the tannins of red wine can develop.
  • Blending is just what it sounds like: you take the white, you take the red, you take them both and then you have? No, not the facts of life, the truth of Rosé. Only, well, this isn’t the usual way of doing things. It actually seems to be frowned upon except in Champagne, France, but even there the 3rd method is more popular.
  • Saignée (no, don’t ask me how to say it, either), is similar to Skin Contact but instead of draining the skins out to produce a light-colored wine, some of the early wine is drained off to concentrate the remaining red wine, and then the juice that was taken out gets fermented on its own.

And if you leave the skins in white wine you can actually end up with Orange wine, still considered, in the grand scheme of things, a Rosé.

Over the next 4 weeks I’m going to be sharing 4 random Rosés and, yes, I’ll even sample my least favorite wine ever: White Zinfandel (only I’m hoping the wine guys can steer me to a decent one).

The things I do for this blog ;-)