What colour? Rosé! Then you start to look! White pink, pale pink, blush, pink, rosado, dark pink, very dark pink… It might be the wrong shade? There are so many. Which one should I buy? Help! If you have the Can I Eat It? App you can scan the bottle’s barcode and it will provide you with a helpful tasting note. If you don’t have it yet the below may help a little.
Unlike most red wines, rosé’s colour is achieved without the tongue curling grape and oak tannins. The main advantage of these almost tannin free wines is that they are palate friendly easy drinkers. In most cases the shade of rosé wine is almost irrelevant, it’s the winemaker’s method of how that colour is achieved that dictates the taste and the quality. Please see below for the main methods used.
By mixing the grapes or the wine:
One of the original methods of producing rosé was to mix white grapes with black at the fermentation stage. This is still done today, although now winemakers generally prefer to ferment the grapes separately and blend them afterwards to achieve the required colour. Both methods work well, though.
By minimal skin contact:
A simple method is to use black grapes but only allow the juice to be in contact with the skins for a short time, until the necessary shade of pink is produced.
By strong and sea winds:
When black grapes are exposed to strong sea winds, their colour tends to leach away, and thus a completely natural rosé coloured wine can be created. This is a speciality of Provence and, for the true rosé wine lover, it’s the only way to go.
The rosé to avoid are those produced by filtration. The makers may have a surplus of red wine (perhaps because it’s of such poor quality that no one wants it) so they separate the colour pigmentation by filtering it through fine membranes. Each time this is done, the colour is reduced (so much so that it is actually possible to turn deep ruby-red wine into white). Unfortunately, the flavour diminishes in tandem with the colour, so that even though the shade of pink may be just right, the wine will taste of nothing at all!
Domaine de Buganay Côtes de Provence Rosé France
Los Dios Rose
Rose wines from Chile are clean and well made, and are ideal for mid-week quaffing. Looking for something better? Try one from France, its Rhone and Provence regions are known for producing some of the best rose wines in the world.