In part 1 of this guide, I bored you all with extraneous detail on the subject matter of how rosé wine is produced. This time lets talk about the fun stuff. Drinking it.
Hence, hereafter follows a short guide to ‘What to look for in a Rosé to satisfy your predilections’ for the keen wine drinker.
Practically zero-aging potential yet delightfully sympathetic to the Spring-time drinker’s needs, rosé wines offer a broad spectrum of flavours; enough so that even the most macho of men can be satisfied. Previously, I touched on how the depth of colour is indicative of how it tastes, well let’s discuss this further.
To reiterate, rosé production usually involves the process of maceration, specifically where the juice is left in contact with the red grape skins. The greater the maceration time, the darker in colour the wine will be. It therefore makes sense, if you think about it, that the greater the depth of colour of the wine, the more it possesses the characteristics of the red grape. However what effect does this have on the actual flavours? Well have a look at this ‘handy’ chart I’ve knocked up.
You can see how the flavours tasted tend to vary from colour to colour, with lighter wines tending to lean more towards grapefruit and darker more towards rich blackberry jam; but bear in mind that these flavours do not give an indication of sweetness or acidity, both very important taste elements.
For instance, Provencal rosé, is pale or salmon pink, perhaps with a hint of orange; and tastes of strawberries or raspberries. It would be reasonable to deduce therefore that, like it’s fruit counterparts, it will be sweet. This is a common misconception. It is actually refreshingly dry (i.e not sweet), with fresh acidity, like our Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Bellugue Rosé 2012
that is mouth-fillingly fruity, rich and round.
Zestier still, are rose wines from the Loire, but these tend to have grapefruit and mint flavours, like our lovely, delicate but dry Domaine de Landreau Rosé d’Anjou 2012
, that’s beautifully fresh and perfect as an aperitif.
If it is something sweeter you are after, then perhaps you’d like a moscato rosé. I usually find it too sugary which, for me, tends to mask the most interesting flavours. Interestingly, sweeter wines tend to be lower percentage as the sugar has not been converted to alcohol.
Anyone who’s been to Spain, ever, will have tried red Rioja wine (or at least I hope so!), but Spain is actually one of the most prominent rosé-producers. Our Bodegas Perica Mi Villa Rosado
is also made in Rioja and offers an interesting, lively alternative to the aforementioned French rosés. Made by the saignée method discussed last time, it reflects the red grape, through its savoury elements. See there’s a rosé for everyone. Although at the other end of the colour spectrum, this wine is just as dry as the Loire Rosé d’Anjou, so you can see how depth of colour has no correlation on sweet/dry-ness.
Anyway, I hope you’ve found this helpful. If you have any favourite rosé styles or facts then post them below.
Next week I’m celebrating El Cinquo De Mayo by hosting a Mexican dinner party, so do check back in if you want to see what my friend’s thought of my food-wine pairings...
Felicity, The Perfect Cellar Team