Unmasking Rosé: the many methods of making pink wines and why we actually love them all (spoiler: they’re PINK!)

July 5, 2024

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What is Rosé Wine?

Rosé wine is a type of wine that gets its pink color from the grape skin being in contact with the grape juice for a short amount of time. This contact can range from a few hours to a couple of days, giving the wine its varying shades of pink. Rosé wines are known for their refreshing and fruity flavors, making them a popular choice for many wine enthusiasts.

Courtesy Kristina Loginova

The Different Methods of Making Rosé

Rosé wines can be made through a few different methods, each influencing the final flavor and color of the wine. Here’s a brief rundown of the methods used in crafting these delightful pink wines:

  • Skin Contact Method: In this method, red grape skins are in contact with the grape juice for a super short period, imparting a light pink hue to the wine.
  • Saignée Method: This method involves “bleeding” off a portion of the juice right after the skins and must are pumped into a tank. The resulting red wine will be more concentrated and bold and the juice that was bled off quickly, is quite a bit darker than a typical pink rose. If you’re not a fan of the pink stuff I highly recommend seeking out saignee rose!
  • Blending Method: Some winemakers blend red and white wines together to create rosé which can allow a winemaker to blend the best of white wine with the best of red!

Each method gives rosé its unique characteristics, making it a versatile and enjoyable wine option for many wine enthusiasts.

Direct Pressing Method

In the direct pressing method, the grapes are pressed gently, allowing only a small amount of color to be extracted from the grape skins. This results in a lighter and more delicate rosé wine. The gentle pressing helps preserve the fruity and floral notes of the grapes, giving the wine a refreshing taste. It’s a popular method for making rosé wines, especially for those looking for a crisp and vibrant wine to enjoy. I’ve enjoyed Cab Franc rosé this way and also Sangiovese and Merlot!

Saignée Method

The saignée method, originating from France, is a winemaking technique where the pink color of rosé wine is achieved by allowing crushed red grape skins to remain in contact with the juice for a short period. During this time, the skins release color, flavor, and aroma compounds, giving the wine its characteristic light red hue. This method results in a bolder and more robust rosé compared to other techniques.

Blending Method

The blending method of making rosé involves mixing red and white wines together to create a pink hue. Winemakers blend different varieties to achieve the desired flavor profile and color intensity. By blending, they can tailor the taste and color to suit their vision for the final product.

Why Rosé Wines Are So Popular

Rosé wines have gained popularity due to their versatility and refreshing taste. They are celebrated for their ability to bridge the gap between red and white wines, offering a unique experience. The beautiful pink hue of rosé wines appeals to both wine enthusiasts and casual drinkers, making them a go-to choice for many occasions. Picnic wines anyone?? Their crisp acidity and fruit-forward flavors make them incredibly easy to drink, perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or pairing with a variety of dishes. Rosé wines have become a favorite among consumers looking for a light and vibrant wine option that is both approachable and delicious.

Flavor Profiles of Rosé Wines

Rosé wines come in a variety of flavor profiles, ranging from crisp and refreshing to fruity and floral. Some common flavors found in Rosé wines include strawberries, raspberries, citrus fruits, watermelon, and floral notes. These flavors give Rosé wines a vibrant and versatile taste that pairs well with a wide range of dishes, from seasonal salads, to seafood, to grilled meats which makes them a popular choice for many wine enthusiasts.

Food Pairing with Rosé

Rosé wines are versatile when it comes to food pairing. Here are some general guidelines to enhance your dining experience with Rosé:

  • Rosé with salmon or tuna can be a delightful pairing, as the light and fruity flavors of the wine complement the richness of the fish.
  • For a refreshing summer meal, try matching Rosé with salads, especially those with light vinaigrettes or fresh fruits and young cheeses like burrata.
  • Rosé also pairs well with a variety of other cheeses, such as goat cheese, feta, or gouda, due to its balanced acidity.
  • When dining on spicy or exotic cuisine, the fruitiness of Rosé can help tame the heat and balance the flavors. Look for an off-dry (read: somewhat sweeter) Rosé for spicy foods.

Experimenting with different food combinations will help you discover your own favorite Rosé pairings. Just remember, the key is to enjoy the experience and find what tastes best to you!

How to Serve Rosé Perfectly

To serve rosé perfectly, remember to chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve it in a tulip-shaped glass to concentrate the aromas. When pouring, fill the glass only halfway to allow room for swirling and sniffing. Enjoy rosé, around 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, to fully experience its flavors and aromas. Sometimes right after pulling wine from the fridge it needs a moment to open up so just swirl, sniff and be patient. Watch how it evolves in the glass as it warms up and make a note how long after the fridge you begin enjoying it the most.

We’re excited to bring you a new seasonal Rosé every year so look for new vintages to come and in the meantime we hope you’re enjoying our Margot 2024 Rosé.

Santé Y’all!


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