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5 Facts You Didn't Know About Rosé

Tue, Aug 02, 22

5 Facts You Didn't Know About Rosé

Here at Gary’s, we love all things rosé, and we know our guests do too. Rosé wine, once thought to be a mere trend, is now a year-round favorite for many wine lovers. For those less familiar with this delectable style of wine, we have put together five fun facts about rosé wine while also highlighting some of the many rosé selections we at Gary’s are proud to offer. Cheers!

1. Rosé wines come in a variety of hues and are made all over the world 

One of rosé’s biggest appeals is its beautiful pink color. With that said, rosés do come in a variety of shades of pink, and all are equally delicious!  


So where exactly does that pretty pink color come from? Rosé’s color is the result of red grape skin contact with the clear grape juice during the winemaking process. The longer the grape skins have contact with the juice, the darker the color of the wine will be. In addition to color, the skins also add to wines’ flavors, aromas and structure. Simple as that! 


Examples of darker-hued rosés include bottlings from Tavel, an appellation in France’s Southern Rhone that specializes in dry rosés. Tavel’s rosés are admired for their bold, dark-salmon color and robust flavors of blood orange, pomegranate, rhubarb and spice. These rosés, and those like them, also have more structure and can stand up to hardier foods. Other notable darker-hued roses include Benanti’s Rosato from Sicily and the Cantalupo Il Mimo Rosato 2021 from Italy’s Piedmont. 


On the opposite end of the spectrum are Provençal-style rosés (a style that mimics the famed rosés from France’s Provence region), where the grape juice had little-to-no contact with the red grape skins during the winemaking process, resulting in delicate, pale-pink wines. Typically, these rosés highlight flavors of citrus, mineral and red berry.  


These wines can be easily enjoyed on their own ideally while sitting on the beach or next to a pool but can also be paired with foods like seafood or summer salads. Provençal-style rosés not to be overlooked include the Wolfer Estate Rose 2021 from New York’s Long Island, Oregon’s Greetings From Willamette Valley Rose 2021, and Hampton Water Rose 2021 from France’s Languedoc region. 


Moral of the story: the world of rosé wine is not monochromatic; it is a vast land made up of a plethora of pink shades waiting to be enjoyed. And here at Gary’s, we have plenty of rosés for you to select from!

2. Rosé wines can be dry or sweet 

In the 1970s, white zinfandel, an off-dry (meaning slightly sweet from residual sugar) rosé, was all the rage and many people's first introduction to rosé wine. It’s still a popular choice, but the pendulum of preference has since swung the opposite way and dry rosés make up most options. Dry style rosés contain little-to-no sugar and offer flavors ranging from fruit (citrus, red berry, watermelon, etc.) to mineral and a bright acidity.  

It’s important not to confuse sweetness with fruit-forward flavors because they don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand since dry wines can have plenty of fruit flavors. 

3. Rosé wines are made in several ways 

There are four ways for winemakers to make our treasured pink wines: 


Maceration: this is the most popular method of rosé production, and it requires winemakers to allow the clear grape juice to rest (aka macerate) with red grape skins to draw off some color along with flavors, aromas and structure. This method produces a darker version of pink wine with prominent flavors and bold personalities that can pair well with more flavorful meals. 


Direct Press: this method involves allowing the grape juice to have contact with red grape skins for an extremely brief period of time. Instead of allowing the juice much time to soak and gain color, the grapes are pressed right away to remove the skins, as a white wine would be vinified. Because of the pigment in the skins, there will still be a hint of color in the juice; this process tends to produce the lightest-colored rosés. Expect more citrus and hints of strawberry in these rosés, though the flavors can vary by grape variety. 


Saignée (aka “bled”): this method involves “bleeding” off the juices of red wine in its earliest stages of production and using them to produce rosé in an entirely different vat. This production style is less common, but it can create lovely rosés with distinct personalities and flavors. 


Blending: While this might seem like the most obvious method of making rosé (white + red = rosé, right?), the practice of blending white and red wines post-fermentation is prohibited in all AOP wine regions in Europe, except for one: Champagne. Here, blending is favored for making rosé Champagne. Some New World (not Europe) regions — which have less-strict vinification rules — use blending to make rosé as well. These wines can vary in style from light to dark depending on the amount and type of red wine used in the blend.

4. Rosé wines make great food companions 

Rosé wine’s ability to pair with food should not be underestimated! They go well with everything from special occasions to easy nights in with takeout.  


For lighter-style rosés, try grilled or vegetable dishes like ratatouille or grilled seafood like salmon or tuna steaks. Another fun pairing is with spicy foods like Indian or Thai curries.  


If you select a darker-style rosé, look for more substantial pairings such as grilled meats and sausage or meaty stews. These rosés also make great additions to the Thanksgiving dinner table! 


5. Pour your rosé wine at the right temperature for the best enjoyment 

Temperature is an important factor when serving any wine, including rosé. Treat rosés the same as white wines with the ideal serving temperature between 44–55°F. The cooler temperature allows the flavors, aromas and acidity of your pink wine to thrive without falling prey to the muted personality of an over-chilled bottle.