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A Second Look at Rosé Wine

Rose WineIt is a pity that rosé wine is not given the attention it deserves. It is certainly elegant enough for just about any occasion, and it is so versatile it can be paired well with a wide range of dishes. It is the perfect wine for the times when, as DiWineTaste puts it a white wine is ‘not enough’ and a red wine is just ‘too much’”.

Achieving the Delicate Rosé Color

Rosé wines take their color from the grapes used to make them, but this color is not enough to classify them as a reds. One of three methods used to produce Rosé wine is the skin contact method. After crushing, the skins of the black-skinned grapes used for the wine are left with the juice for about three days; the gloppy mass is then pressed, and the skins are removed before the juice is fermented.

The color of rosé wine can also be achieved through the Saignée or “bleeding” method. After the grapes have been pressed, their skins float to the top. So, once the grape skins float to the top of the wine tank and create a cap-like layer, a valve at the bottom of the tank is opened. This drains or “bleeds” the juice before it turns red. This way the wine is prevented from taking on too much color.

A third method for achieving this delicate pink color is the Pressé or the pressing method. Wine Vibe gives a brief description of this process: “Pressé” or pressing is the technique of pressing the red grapes until the juice has the desired color.  Once the desired color has been attained, the winemaker stops pressing.  Only the pressed juice is used to make the Rosé wine…”

Choosing your Rosé

Madeline Puckette of Wine Folly has very definite ideas on how you can go home with the bottle that will make you happy. For a bottle of dry (not sweet) rosé, pick one that is made from on or a blend of the following varieties: “… Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault, Pinot Noir…

Any Rosé wine can be produced in a sweet style by simply not fermenting all the sugar into alcohol. However, it is not as common and mostly reserved for bulk wine production. If you are on the search for a sweet rosé wine, the following wines will fit the bill: White Zinfandel, White Merlot, Pink Moscato…”

The Time for Rosé

Rosés are served chilled, making them ideal for spring and summer. You can serve rosé wines with lamb, steak, seafood, eggs, or salads. It is great for garden parties, appropriate for picnics, and perfect for luncheons. Now, if you want to set up a romantic table, consider serving pink champagne, the queen of the Rosés. Come to think about it, just about any time is a good time to “drink pink”.

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