A guide to rose wine

If you are a lover of wine, then you certainly come across a range of delightfully pink shaded rose wines. With its pink hue, this wine variety has become a favorite of those looking for a light and refreshing experience synonymous with understated sophistication and class.

Preparation of rose wine

Rose wine comes from the same grapes that are used to prepare both white and red wines; the difference lies in the preparation method. In fact, rose wine actually goes through most of the preparation processes that white wine does with the only difference being that the grapes’ maceration time is longer in rose wine.

Some of the common methods of preparing rose wine include:

Maceration method

The maceration method is whereby the grapes are pressed and left to sit while still in their skins. During preparation of red wine, the maceration period lasts until fermentation is complete. For the rose wine, however, the juice in the grapes is separated from the skins beforehand, so that it does not turn too dark. Lighter varieties of rose wine, such as Grenache, take about 24 hours to be fully macerated. Darker varieties of red wine, such as Mourvedre, may take only a few hours to macerate.

Vin Gris Method

Another method of preparation of rose wine is the Vin Gris Method. The word Vin Gris means gray wine. This method involves the use of red grapes to make wine that is almost white in color. Under this method, the time of maceration is extremely short and is best for producing lighter varieties of red wine, such as Pinot Noir in US and Cinsault or Gamay in France.

The Saignee method

This method is used in the production of some of the most durable rose wines in the world. Saignee method is borrowed from the production process of red wine. When red wine is being fermented, 10% of its juice bleeds off, leaving a great ratio of contact between the skin and the remaining juice within the grapes. This is why red wine comes out bolder and richer as compared to rose wine. The leftover juice that bleeds off is then collected and fermented to produce rose wine. Rose wines prepared using this Saignee method are much darker in color as compared to the ones prepared by a maceration method. Saignee rose wines are famed to be more rich and savory than the macerated wines are.

A great example of wine prepared using the saignee method is Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon Rose. The wine producers in Napa Valley have discovered the benefit of using Saignee method to make wines that are rich in texture. When compared to Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon Rose is not only rich but also has hints of cherry, black pepper, and bell pepper.

Flavors of rose wine

The unique pink drink comes in many flavors that make it one of the few versatile types of wines that exist. Some of the flavors include:

  • Blackberry
  • Tomato
  • Blood Orange
  • Black Currant
  • Berry Jam
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Raspberry Sauce
  • Wild Strawberry

Grape varieties

Almost all grape varieties have been used to prepare rose wine over time. The most common grapes used include:

  • Pinot Noir
  • Cinsault
  • Grenache
  • Tempranillo

Types of rose wine

Dry Rose Wine

The dry non-sweet rose wine is the most common type of rose currently in the world. Rose is produced in large quantities in Spain and France. Rose wine from the said regions, however, is not always pure since it may be blended with two or three grape varieties during production.

Common dry rose wine varieties (pure or blended) include:

  • Grenache
  • Pinot Noir
  • Carignan
  • Syrah
  • Sangiovese
  • Cinsault
  • Mourvedere

Rose wine does not require a long time to age. As such, you should be able to drink rose about one year after its release.

Sweet rose wine

Production of sweet rose is quite simple because all the producers have to do is avoid fermenting all the sugar in the wine into alcohol. Though the procedure sounds easy, it is not common and is instead reserved for the production of bulk wines.

Examples of sweet rose wines are:

  • Pink Moscato
  • White Merlot
  • White Zinfandel

Shades of rose wine

The wine comes in different hues from bright pink to pale pink. Below are some of the most common shades of rose wine:

  • Grenache Rose- has a bright ruby red shade and has a fruity taste.
  • Sangiovese Rose- has a brilliant copper reddish hue with fruity flavors.
  • Tempranillo Rose- contains a pale pink shade with a herbal taste.