There is something I have always been curious about. Why does everyone have a problem with rosé? Why do people feel about rosé as they feel about that childhood bully who used to steal their lunch money? I mean, why does everyone hate it so much? It's true: rosé wines are neither white nor red - and I am not referring to the 1995 animated movie Balto - but it does have a little bit of both.
Let's take a step back and try to understand how rosé is produced in the first place.
When it comes to rosé, there are two main schools of thought:
- Rosé produced through assemblage
In short: white wine + red wine. This is very common for French champagnes. It is a method that allows rosé wines to have the freshness of, say, a Chardonnay, combined with the texture and elegance of a Pinot Noir.
- Rosé produced through maceration
Once grapes have been harvested and the must has been produced, grape skins can either be left steeping or be taken out. This decision will affect the colour of the final product. The idea behind it is very similar to that of hot water and teabags: consider three cups of tea in which the teabags are left steeping for 30 seconds, 2 minutes and 2 hours respectively. Clearly, the colour of the tea will differ dramatically. The same works for grape skins. Think for example about Blanc (lit. white) de Noir (lit. black) sparkling wines or champagnes - perfectly white wines made from Pinot Noir, a famous red-grape variety of vine. The temperature of maceration is also influential on the final product, as in the case of cold maceration.
Concluding, rosé wine is very interesting and versatile: some are fruited and easy to drink, with fresh and savoury tones, while others are more textured and complex.
Here are some suggestions in case you are looking for a good rosé.
Lezer Elisabetta Foradori
Assemblage: 100% Teroldego
Price per bottle on CallmeWine: 11,90€
Foradori : www.elisabettaforadori.com
Les Caves de Pyrene: www.lescaves.it
Made in Provance Colletion Rosè
Assemblage : 60% Syrah - 30% Grenache - 10% Rolle
Price per bottle on Vinatis: 13,00€
Le Domaine des Diables. MiP : www.mip-provence.com
La grande annèe Rosè Bollinger 2007
Assemblage: 100% Pinot Noir
Price per bottle (sold at winery): 106,50€
Bollinger : www.champagne-bollinger.com