With International Rosé Day around the corner (June 24th), it only makes sense that we dedicate a post to how this lovely sipper is made in the first place. Before we get into it, I want to take a moment and step on my soapbox on behalf of rosé.
Rosé became a household name in North America in the 80s with the growth of White Zinfandel. This sweet, pink wine, aside from the sugars, had very little going on for structure. The drink is quite polarizing. Those who enjoy sweet drinks love it, and those who choose not to drink syrup hate it. Nonetheless, the fame of White Zinfandel gave rosé a bad rap. When folks see me coming with a glass of 'pink' wine, some revert to the White Zin days and kindly decline. The truth is, the majority of rosé wines in our market are dry, incredibly delicious, and with levels of complexity. Winemakers worldwide take their rosé production seriously and, as a result, produce wines that have such structure that they are fit to drink all year, and some can age for up to four years. There is no need to consume these well structured rosé wines young. Just know that NOT all rosé is White Zinfandel, and the majority are the complete opposite.
Now, let's expand our rosé coverage and discuss how rosé wine is made. You can read our post here for a more detailed view of rosé.
How Rosé Wine Is Made
How Rosé Wine Is Made
Step 1: Grapes are picked and crushed with their skins. Usually, red grapes are used, but you can find some rosé wines blended with white grapes to enhance the wine's aroma and flavours.
Step 2: The grape must and skins are left together to macerate for anywhere between 2 to 24 hours. The longer the must and skins are left together, the deeper the colour of the rosé wine.
Step 3: The juice is then strained from the skins and other solids and placed in tank to further ferment for a period of time determined by the winemaker. The fermentation time really depends on the end result the winemaker is looking for. You can also find some rosé wines aged in oak, but the most common process sees it in tank.
Step 4: After fermentation, the rosé wine is bottled and ready for consumption. Most rosé is meant to be drunk young, with a maximum aging potential in your cellars for roughly 4 years.
Rosé wines should have a place on your go-to list of wines. These wines are often great pairing ideas for barbecue and dishes consisting of an array of spices.
Now that you know a little more about how rosé is made, I certainly hope you are sipping on something pink today to celebrate International Rosé Day.