5 Things You Didn't Know About Rosé

From light and crisp to full and flavorful, there’s more to rosé than you think.

Rose Wine

Everything's Coming Up Rosé

When the weather gets hot, there’s nothing more refreshing than a cool glass of rosé. You might think rosé is just a trendy millennial drink that looks amazing in an expertly filtered Instagram photo, but rosé can be just as sophisticated and classically delicious as any red or white wine. For a crash course in all things rosé, here are five fun facts about rosé.

The First of Its Kind

It might seem like rosé is a newly invented wine variety created to please the summer festival crowd, but it turns out rosé was the first wine ever invented. Born in Provence, France, around 600 B.C., rosé was made by hand (or foot) by physically pressing the juice out of the grapes. This imperfect technique led to some red grape skins entering the juice, but not enough for the wine to take on a deep red color like the red wines we are familiar with today.

Would a Rosé by Any Other Name Taste as Sweet?

Generally, a lighter rosé is more dry (or less sweet) than one with a deeper pink color, but that isn’t always the case. There are exceptions to this rule, but if you want to find a drier rosé, stick with French, Spanish, Italian or other European varieties. Most American rosés are sweeter, and can be closer in taste and color to White Zinfandel; a sweet pink wine made exclusively from Zinfandel grapes.

Four Ways to Rosés

There are four main ways to make rosé.

  • Maceration: The grapes are crushed and the skin is left in the juice, just like how red wine is made, but the skins are only left to soak for a limited time. The longer the skins are left in, the darker the pink.
  • Direct Pressing: The grape skin has very little contact with the juice, giving the wine a very light pink hue.
  • Saignée: A process that is used to create concentrated red wine, the by-product of which is rosé. With saignée, a small percentage of red wine is “bled” off, or separated. That separated product is fermented on its own and results in rosé.
  • Blending: The last way to make rosé is a little controversial. With blending you simply take some red wine, take some white, and mix together to desired pinkness. While this method is mostly frowned upon, it’s still used in the Champagne region of France to make rosé Champagne, so it can’t be all bad.

Rosé Today, Not Tomorrow

Unlike red wines, most rosé does not get better with age. It’s best to enjoy your rosé within a year of purchase, at most. The best rosés are enjoyed chilled, so make room in your fridge by drinking your rosé soon after purchasing. As far as how to enjoy your rosé, a white wine glass will usually work, but the best glasses for rosé have a slight lip at the top for pleasing all parts of your palate.

Rosé All Day Year

While rosé is perfect for a hot summer day, this delightful beverage can, and should, be enjoyed all year round. The light crisp fruity flavor of most rosés pairs perfectly with meals like BBQ dishes, Mexican food, Mediterranean cuisine, thin crust pizza and pretty much any food that isn’t too heavy or sweet.

Pick up a delicious rosé to compliment your summer grilling, or any occasion, today!