What’s the deal with Rosé wine?

Our Take on Rosé wines 

If you find yourself googling “Rosé Quotes” what appears is guide after guide of puns, phrases, stitched pillows, wine glasses with cheesy phrases, and of course, “Rosé All Day” printed on everything that you can imagine. As social media and influencers play a major part in our digital economy, the American market can treat Rosé like an accessory for good times in good weather. But it is so much more!

To be clear, we are completely on board with this approach to drink Rosé in more ways and at more times of the day. We can “stop and smell the Rosé” or “Rosé then slay” with the rest of our light-hearted Rosé drinking friends and family who enjoy posting pictures of pink wine, while looking out at a body of water or a grassy field or kicking back at a boozy brunch spot (we hear the newest trending spots that popped up during quarantine for a killer breakfast and Rosé combo are Kitchen, Balcony, and Backyard). Rosé is crisp, clean, and refreshing. It just works for this, and we encourage the RoseYAY movement. We not only believe in the millennial-driven fun approach to Rosé, but we also believe in the versatility of this style of wine. You will find Rosés at The Wine Outlet that work with nearly any dish you can think of. They can be sweet or bone-dry and have levels of complexity that may be unexpected. In this way, Rosé has become both a culturally significant libation that exudes fun, as well as a carefully manicured wine style that can appeal to red and white wine drinkers alike. So, is Rosé just for fun or is there depth of winemaking, character, and complexity?

 

How it’s made

To find the Rosés that blow your mind, let’s just touch on how they’re made. There are a few categories/styles of wine that are inextricably linked to winemaking methods. Certainly, winemaking is one of the difference-makers when it comes to the character of any red or white; however, it is also the defining feature of the Rosé category. There are a few different ways to make Rosé, with the primary method being the same as red wine but to a less extreme degree. In all black/red grapes, the juice contained by the skins is white. Crazy, right?! This white/clear juice is then blended over a long period of time with the skins of the grape. This extracts all of the darker red color and red/black fruit flavors in Cabernet Sauvignon, for example. If you were to only crush a Cabernet grape without any skin contact, you would have clear Cabernet Sauvignon juice! If you wanted to make Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, you would limit the amount of time the grape juice interacts with the skins (usually between 2 and 20 hours). While certain grape varieties bleed off their color more easily than others, a good rule of thumb is that the longer the juice is ‘on the skins’ the darker the color of the Rosé.

 

Flavor & Color Relationship

Okay, so here’s the crucial question: what does this mean for flavor? In general, lighter Rosés capitalize on flavors of peach, pear, and melon, while those with a darker color begin to approach more strawberry, cherry, and red fruit flavors. There are of course other variables that impact these flavors as with all wine-making, such as climate, soil, and winemaker choices; however, this is a good general rule.

Where’s Rosé from?

Recently, Rosé eclipsed white wine in sales in France. The French not only love drinking Rosé, but they love making it too. Southern France, specifically the Cotes de Provence, is an epicenter for pink fermented grape juice. These Mediterranean wines often display floral notes with vibrant acidity and flavors of cantaloupe, watermelon, and peach. Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Cinsault are common red grapes that comprise most of the region’s wines; whereas in Southwest France you will find more Cabernet, Merlot, and Malbec Rosés with Pinot Noir maintaining a strong foothold in more northern areas of France such as Burgundy, the Loire Valley, and Champagne.

Rosé is not just for and from the French. Italy and the United States are crafting some of the most revered Rosés on the planet. Tuscany’s Sangiovese Rosés can carry with them crisp cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and spice notes. In Washington State, many grape varieties are used, but it is common, particularly in the Columbia Valley, to find Provence-style blends of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, and Mourvedre.

 

What does Rosé pair well with?

These wines pair excellently with a surprisingly wide variety of proteins: salmon, chicken, burgers, to name a few. They also complement spicier or richer flavors, like Asian cuisine or BBQ, because their refreshing and crisp qualities cut through the richness, providing a new flavor experience with each bite. We have a variety of specific recipes and pairings for the food we carry, including ones we would recommend drinking our rosé wines with. Whether you lean more towards white wine flavors or red wine flavors, there’s a rosé and food experience you will enjoy.

 

So, is Rosé just for porches, boats, and views on social media?

It is perfect for all that, yet it is also so much more. We hope this brief introduction to pink wine inspires you to try more Rosés and discover your own palate preferences. Whether you’re looking for a cool new wine label, a classy looking bottle, that perfect Instagram worthy wine shot, or to explore a whole new type of wine, we encourage you to taste any one of the Rosé options we have and let us know what you think. Check out a few of our current Rosé offerings below and follow us as we continue to get more options in this month. If you already know you love Rosé (likely most of you judging by the fact that you’ve made it to the end of this post) or if you want to explore more Rosé options, stay up-to-date with us through our Newsletter and on Facebook and Instagram. We have many virtual wine tastings coming up and Rosé is sure to be one of them!

 

Our Rosé Inventory as of the 1st week of April – check our inventory pages for adds each day

2019 Lavendette Rose Alpes de Haut-Provence ($11.99)

2019 Renegade Wine Co. Rose ($11.99)

2019 Ch St Gyrgues Costieres Nimes Rose ($9.99)

2019 Les Lauzel Pays du Gard ($9.99)

2019 Petit Balthazar Rose ($8.99)


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