How is Rose Wine Made?

A wine that has gained a huge following in recent years is rosé, thanks to its color, aromas, versatility and light structure, which make it ideal to enjoy alone or with a wide variety of food. Rosé wine has long enjoyed great recognition in France, its place of origin, although it remains less popular from your online wine store than red or white. Rose is, of course, perfect for Spring and Summer enjoyment!

France is the main producer of rosé wines in the world, with Provençal rosés (from southern France, near the Mediterranean Sea) being the most famous, which are characterized by their pale color, light body and aromas of red fruits and citrusy touches of grapefruit and lime. Spain is the second largest producer in the world, where the rosés from Navarra (in the north of the country) and Cigales stand out, made mainly by the bleeding method, which provides more color and body to the wine. Of course, California, including Sonoma and Napa roses, are perfect choices when you go for wine delivery USA!

Rosé wine is mainly made from red grapes, although white grapes can also be used to a lesser extent to create the ideal blend required by the winemaker.

Maceration or rosé press

There are different ways to make rosé wines, but the most popular is through maceration (rosé press). This process exerts gentle pressure to extract the must or juice from the grape, which stays in contact with the skins of the grape for a certain time. Color comes from the skins, and in this way the must acquires the color and other characteristics, including the extraction of anthocyanins and flavonoids. In general, the pulp of the grapes has no color and therefore it the maceration process causes components from the skin dissolve in the must and gives the wine its color. This process can be managed to produce the desired color and aroma.

The time that the must remains in contact with the skins will determine not only the color but also the amount of tannins in the wine and its body or structure. In a case where you buy red wine, the maceration process lasts several days, since it is linked to a first fermentation. In the case of rosés, the contact time with the skins is shorter and usually lasts an average of 12-24 hours, or even less.

The pink from “bleeding”

Bleeding, or saignée (sohn-yay, which means “to bleed”) is one of the most common ways to make rosé wines. Like the direct press method, a winemaker starts with ripe red wine grapes, but in this case the grapes are harvested for making a red wine. It is a more complex process and produces darker, more intense rosé wines. In this case, juice is obtained by stacking the grapes in a vat and letting their own weight do the pressing. After destemming and crushing the grapes, they go to a tank, where they macerate. Subsequently, the skins are separated from the juice or must by gravity. The must, which is denser (it has sugar), remains at the bottom and the tank is "bled", an operation consisting of opening the tap at the bottom and allowing the pink must to flow by gravity.

How do I Pair Rose Wines with Food?

The longer the contact time between the skin and the must, the more intense the color and flavor will be. Also decide if you want a dry rose, or one with some residual sugar. This type of wine has its own organoleptic characteristics, and is perfect for pairing with salads, grilled fish, shellfish, cold meats or pizzas. Marinara and seafood sauces tend to pair better with drier and lighter roses, as do salads and spicy dishes. Dry examples combine very well with Asian food, especially Thai, and Mexican cuisines.

If the sauce has more sweet nuances (because it contains caramelized onions or is made from sweet tomatoes, for example) the choose a fruitier option, with some sweetness. These are great combined with desserts as well.

If you want to taste a rose wine, choose among the varieties that we have for you at your wine store USA, Bottle Barn. Check out our superb rose wines carefully curated by our knowledgeable staff!      

Written By: - Charlie Leary

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