Unless you’ve been living in a cave you are undoubtedly aware that rosé season has arrived in full force. Walk into any wine shop and you’ll more than likely be greeted by an entire section devoted to rosés in all shades, from pale to hot pink. As an avowed rosé lover, with a certain fondness for southern French blends, it’s rare to see anything other than pink wine in my glass for the duration of summer or until they run out.
A pink primer:
Perhaps you’re curious about all the hype. It’s just pink wine, what’s the big deal anyway? Don’t be fooled by the color! These wines are packed with diverse and delectable flavors and have virtually nothing in common with sweet White Zin.
To begin with, rosé is a style of wine that’s been around for centuries (and drunk enthusiastically by both men and women), traditionally made using red wine grapes. There are a few different techniques winemakers use but the most common is the skin contact method where the grapes are crushed and their skins left in the juice for a brief period of time (a few hours up to a couple of days). The juice is then pressed without the skins and rosé production takes over from there.
Wine Fact: If you squeeze any grape, red, purple/black or green, the juice is always going to be clear. Skin is what gives wine its color. The longer the skins have contact with the juice, the more vivid the color.
Not all rosés are the same
Just as there are many different shades of pink, so too are there many different styles of rosé from crisp and dry to rich and savory.
The majority are blends, often made with a combination of grapes such as Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan and Mouvedre while others are single varietals, usually made from 100% Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sangiovese or Grenache. I find the single varietals to be a bit bolder in the mouth than their blend counterparts.
strawberry, raspberry, cherry, pomegranate, watermelon, spice, herbal, fresh, fruity, juicy, bone dry and crisp. Most of the rosés on the market are from France, Spain, and the U.S.
These wines are perfect counterparts for food–especially summer salads, seared tuna steaks, fried chicken, fried clams, steamers, grilled burgers and of course, watermelon.
When to drink
For the most part rosés are meant to be enjoyed fresh and young. They are traditionally released annually in the spring and right now we are drinking the 2016 batch so that’s what you should look for on the label. 2015 would be left over from the previous year, not bad per se but not at its peak.
So… if you haven’t come over to the pink side yet, what are you waiting for? The 90+ Cellars Rosé Collection is a beauty! Here’s a quick cheat sheet… oh and I heard they do an “All Day Rosé 6-Pack” and have a pretty awesome Rosé Cruise coming up this summer…
Thanks to Maia for contributing to our Blog! Follow Maia on social for more wine knowledge and fun facts!