In the context of wine, summer screams rosé season. For some reason, most people love to drink rosé when it’s warm and the sun is shining. We like to enjoy it all year round, but there is no doubt that in recent years, the world can’t seem to get enough of the pink stuff as soon as the days get longer and the sun starts to shine.
So as we look forward to the SipNZRose campaign and a celebration of all things NZ rosé, we thought we would put on our rosé wine tinted glasses and explore the essentials of rosé wine.
How is Rosé Wine made?
There are two factors that differentiate Rosé wine from Blush wine. The sweetness and that Rosé wine must be made from red wine only. Believe it or not, the juice from red wine grapes doesn’t come out red at all. Or pink for that matter. When pressed, all grapes produce a light coloured liquid. In order for red wines to achieve their colour, tannins, body and structure, the juice need to be left in contact with the grape skins for a certain amount of time. This process is known as maceration. So mixing red and white wine together is not how you make rosé.
Infographic credit | Wine Folly
To make most rosé wine, red grapes are lightly crushed and left to macerate with their red skins for a little while (anywhere from a few hours to a few days), after which the juice is strained out from the solid stuff and fermented in tanks. The longer the grapes’ skins are left sitting in the wine, the darker the colour of the finished rosé.
What about Styles?
If you enjoy rosé, you’ve probably already got a favourite that epitomises summer for you. It’s our The Sisters Pinot Rosé, correct? Since much of the flavour from wine is derived from the skin, the colour of the wine can be a sign of what to expect. When choosing a rosé wine, it’s important to look at what grapes were used in the wine as that will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of flavour and aroma.
Pinot Noir Rosé tends to be delicately fruity. In rosé, Pinot Noir delivers bright acidity and soft, subtle aromas of crabapple, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, and wet stone. The grape can produce earthy-but-elegant wines that are cool, crisp, and dry. Its the reason we love this style. Our Pinot Rosé is and off-dry wine, which is smooth and satisfying with lifted berry aromas. The flavours are lovely – lots of summer fruit but balanced with a fine acidity that leaves the palate fresh and makes this wine a joy to drink. If you want to learn more about the different styles of Rosé wines, Madeline at Wine Folly has that well covered on her blog.
What about sweetness?
Because Rosé is pink, it is often assumed that it is super sweet. One of the most important things to note with rosé is if it is dry or off dry. Dry = not sweet. And that’s what you want: a wine that’s fresh and acidic, without extra sugar to bury its flavours and aromas. Since so many different kinds of rosé are being made all over the world, the dry vs. sweet question matters a lot more than a wine’s country of origin. But, if you’re feeling totally bewildered at the wine store, here’s a general rule of thumb:
OLD WORLD ROSÉ (Europe) = IT WILL USUALLY BE MORE DRY
NEW WORLD ROSÉ (everywhere else) = IT MIGHT BE LESS DRY
There are lots of exceptions to this, but it can be a helpful way to narrow down your options at the wine store if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Drink alone or with food?
Calling wine “food-friendly” is an annoying cliché, but in the case of rosé, it works! These wines are versatile because they fall in between the extremes of red and white — less intense than a big, tannic, mouth-busting red, but with more depth than a super-light white. From being purely a summer wine there are now rosés for almost every type of food and occasion. Fiona Beckett covers them off nicely on her website in her article The Best Food Pairings for Rosé.
Pink is Fun!
One of the things that makes rosé wine so much fun, is its versatility as a base for cocktails. Google Rosé Wine Cocktails and you will find any number of recipes to try. However, we thought we would save you the trouble so you can just check out Rosé Wine Five Ways.
Pink wine is here to stay and its lots of fun. It’s also not just for the girls.Brosé is a thing.
Whatever way you decide to celebrate Rosé Wine, as any other wine and especially our The Sisters wines, it is always best enjoyed in great company. Cheers to you all.