What is Rose Wine?
While grape skins are responsible for the hue of rose wine, there aren’t enough of them to be classified as red wine.
The pink color synonymous with rose wines is on a spectrum between a pale orange (akin to an onion skin) and almost purple, depending on the method with which it was made.
There are three kinds of rose wines; still, semi-sparkling, and sparkling. Rose wines also possess a variety of sweetness levels – a wine like the Provencal rose is astonishingly dry, whereas blushes and white zinfandels are almost sickly sweet.
Rose wines are found all over the world and are derived from a wealth of different grapes.
How is Rose Wine Made?
Rose wine is made with the same blue grapes as red wine.
However, with red wine, the grape skins ferment together with the juice during what’s known as ‘mash’ fermentation; thus, releasing the red color.
The release of pigments occurs over a few weeks for red wine. But when the process is disrupted within a few hours, the coloring from the grape skins is comparatively mild. After taking on a moderate red hue, the juice is pressed and move to a different tank to ferment without the skins. Then, it’s eventually bottled and sold as rose wine.
In layman’s terms, rose wines and red wines are part of the same family, but the former only have limited contact with the grape skins.
The Best Way to Drink Rose Wine
First and foremost, enjoying rose wine comes down to what bottle is purchased. It’s best to choose something fresh, uncomplicated, and local. Furthermore, a young vintage and a moderate price are a consumer’s best bet.
It’s also worth noting that there’s no correlation between age and quality with rose wines.
Roses tend to feature best at an elegant dinner party when there are several different bottles to choose from. But, combining a rose with some fresh lemon, a morsel of grapefruit, a splash of gin, some simple syrup, and lots of ice, makes for a refreshing cocktail during a rowdy mixer.
Another way to enjoy a rose-infused cocktail is by partially freezing the wine in a separate container, then blending it with fresh watermelon and ice cubes, and finishing it off with sprigs of mint. This recipe makes for an undeniably flavorful slushy.
Last, but not least, is the summer sangria, made with rose wine, summer fruits, and a dash of cognac.
Where Are Rose Wines Made?
Unlike Champagne or Scotch, there’s no specific location where a rose wine must be made to earn its classification.
Still, it should come as no surprise that the best roses in the world are made in the wine regions of France, including places like Languedoc, but also in other world-renowned wine hubs like Sonoma Valley in California.
Realistically though, roses are made at almost any vineyard boasting a diverse array of wines.
What Foods Pair Well with Rose?
There is a wealth of rose styles that pair well with different kinds of food. Below is a list of delicious food pairings for just a few rose flavor profiles:
- Sparkling roses pair nicely with baked brie, small portions of mushroom strudel, and other light appetizers.
- Light dry roses are an ideal match with light salads, light pasta and rice dishes, seafood (such as raw or lightly cooked shellfish and grilled fish), and goats’ cheeses.
- Medium dry roses make for a potent combination with spicy food.
- Still roses bring out the flavors of chicken, pork, fish, and casseroles.
- Sweeter roses are ideal with desserts.
- Full-bodied, fruity roses compliment smoky BBQed meats and curries.
- Elegant fruity roses are perfect for high-end meals like lobster, lamb (cooked rare), and duck.
Conclusion: The World Looks Better with Rose-Colored (Wine) Glasses
Rose wines are versatile, delicious, and pleasing to the eyes. Most importantly, it’s a perfect drink for relaxing during the summertime!