Everything is coming up rosé

A selection of rosé wines.

A selection of rosé wines. - Credit: Flagship Wines

Summer is nearly here, so think pink! Why drink rosé? Do you drink it because you like the colour, the taste, just for a change from white or red or because it is a compromise between white and red wines?

Fortunately, it is easy to choose to drink rosé wines because so many good ones are made there is bound to be one to match your expectations. Also, rosés are now taken seriously by winemakers who focus on their quality, flavour, and style.

There are three main ways to make rosé wines. As the colour of a wine is contained in the grape skins the amount of contact that a fermenting wine has with the skins will determine the depth of colour in the finished wine.

The greater the length of time the greater the colour and it is a delicate balancing act to ensure that there is sufficient colour without too much tannin.

The small amount of tannin present in the rosé wine means the wine is soft and delicate in style and can be enjoyed chilled without the presence of dry grippy tannins.


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Some rosés are made by draining off some of the fermenting must from tanks of fermenting red grapes during the early days of fermentation before much colour is extracted from the skins.

The third method, in Champagne, is the blending of red and white grapes as white Chardonnay grapes and red Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes are used in its production. Colour can be derived from skin contact with the juice or blending a small amount of red wine with the white wines from the permitted grape varieties.

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Rosé Champagnes can be made wholly or partly from Pinot Noir and in addition to their pretty delicate pink appearance have an elegant slightly drier fruity taste than other Champagnes where the softer roundness is derived from the white grapes in the base wine.

The rosé wines made in the methode traditionelle from other parts of the world are delicious too – check out those from Franciacorta in Piemonte in Italy such as Ferghettina or Tasmanian from Jansz.

Whether still or sparkling the current trend seems to be towards paler pink wines such as the delicate light salmon pink rosés from Provence such as Rimauresq Rosé Cru Classe Cotes de Provence for which the region has gained a high reputation, the softer fruity wines of Costières de Nimes, also the Sancerre rosés from Loire Valley.

Some Australian winemakers are showing the delicate side of their wines with light dry wines from the Grenache grape such as the Hancock & Hancock in the Barossa Valley.

Moving further south there are delicious deeper pink wines such as Spanish rosés made from the Garnacha grape with delicious creamy, refreshing vibrant strawberry fruit flavour enjoyed as a summery aperitif and with tapas and paellas.

Many New World rosés such as those made from Malbec in New Zealand like Esk Valley, Merlot grapes
in Chile for example Norte Chico and Painted Wolf The Den Rose from Pinotage in South Africa are bursting with ripe fruit flavours.

Rosé wines widely in flavour and style and many popular ones are delicious when serve chilled whilst retaining fruity flavours. The most popular rosés have the crispness of a white with a little of the same fruity richness. They make great aperitifs and are good to serve with meze dishes, fish, cheese, and fruit – lets hope the sun comes out soon so we can sit in the garden and enjoy these light wines.

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