Rose: A great Summer Wine
For most people when they see a pink wine they immediately assume its White Zinfandel and let’s be honest a lot of people are not fans of White Zin, myself included, but White Zinfandel is not the only pink wine out there and good dry Rose can actually be quite delicious.
If you’re thinking come on pink wine? Really? I was right there with you. When my parents came back from Provence, France last spring, raving about the rose, I was skeptical, but I was willing to give it a chance because I trust my parent’s judgment in wine… for the most part.
The first Rose I tried I was not enamored with. It was ok but nothing I would ever buy again. The second rose I had however was light and crisp and in my opinion, had more oomph to it then most white wines. After trying a few more Roses I discovered that a rose can be just what the doctor ordered on a hot summer day. As much as I love red wine sometimes it is just too much when it very hot out or when you’re eating something delicate like sea food. Being that I don’t love a lot of white wines, it was nice to find a good alternative for a summer wine.
So What exactly is a rose?
The simplest of explanations is that is similar in style to a white wine but made with red wine grapes. There are three ways to make a rose:
The first way is dark skinned grapes are crushed and the skins only remain in contact with the juice for a few days (the longer the skin is in contact with the juice the darker the color of the wine will be).
Saignee (Don’t ask me to pronounce this I have no idea!)
In this process also now as bleeding the vats, the wine maker removes some of the pink juice from the must (the juice that has the skins, seeds and stems in it.) at an early stage to give the red wine more tannin and a deeper color. The pink juice that is removed can then be fermented into a rose.
This is the mixing on a white and a red for the most part this is an uncommon method of creating a rose and is discouraged in most wine regions.
Blush, Rose, White Zinfandel, what doe it all mean?
In all actuality Blush is a type of rose and White Zinfandel would be considered a Blush wine. Blush is a term mainly used in North America to describe sweet pink wine. For the most part dry pink wine in North America is referred to as rose. Out side of North American all pink wine regardless of sugar content is usually called rose. White Zinfandel (as we know it now), is a sweet pink wine that was actually created by accident at Sutter Homes Winery. Originally they were making a dry almost white rose but they had a batch where the yeast died before consuming all of the sugar. This “ruined” batch was much sweeter and the wine maker liked it better. Thus was born the White Zin of today.
Ok so now you know a little bit about Rose. I tend to like French Rose but there are plenty out there to try. Unless you like sweet wine ask for a dry rose and try to be descriptive in what sort of characteristics you like in a wine. Happy Tasting!