Want to dive into the world of elegant Rose wine
Its beautiful pink hue and irresistible deliciousness make Rose wine a universal favorite!
From being dismissed as a frivolous wine for much of the 20th century, the demand for Rose surged in the 1970s since importers like Kermit Lynch introduced dry rosés to the US market. Rose production in the US increased three times from 2002 to 2018, and consumption went up by 40% in 2019.
Its popularity further exploded after celebrities like Post Malone, Jon Bon Jovi, and Cameron Diaz announced their own Rose brands.
What’s so special about this wine? How does Rose get its beautiful blush color, and what are the different Rose wine styles?
Find out answers to all of your questions, including how it’s made, taste, best bottles to buy in 2021, and where you can buy the best ones from!
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)
- What is Rose Wine?
- Rose Wine - A Brief History
- How is Rose Wine Made?
- Rose Wine Styles
- Rose Wine Regions
- Rose Wine Taste and Food Pairings
- How to Serve Rose Wines
- The Best Rose Wines to Buy in 2021
- Dom Perignon Rose Gold 1996
- Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut Rose Millesime 1996
- Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut Rose 1985
- Henri Giraud 'Argonne' Ay Grand Cru Brut Rose 2008
- Domaine Prieure Roch Bourgogne 'Roses' Rose 2017
- Muse de Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose 2018
- Rose & Arrow Estate 'Black Walnut' Worden Hill Pinot Noir 2016
- Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose 2015
- Antica Terra 'Angelicall' Rose 2018
- Cascina Baricchi Rose delle Casasse 2012
What is Rose Wine?
Rose is a genre of wine that is made using red grape varieties.
You may also come across Rose wine made with only one grape variety like the Californian varietal Roses, which are often made with 100% Pinot Noir grape varietal.
Rose style wine originated in Provence, France, centuries ago, and it has recently become hugely popular in the United States. It’s also popular in Italy (known as Rosato) and Spain (Rosado.)
The elegant pink color arises from the contact between the grape juice the red grape skins (maceration.) (More about it in a bit
But how did it all begin?
Rose Wine - A Brief History
It is not known when pink wines were officially labeled as Rosés. However, the first red wines made around the 6th century BC were, in fact, pink. That’s because winemakers mixed white and red wine grapes during pressing and maceration.
Winemakers did not leave the grape skins with the juice for too long because this resulted in heavy tannic wine considered low quality.
In the Middle Ages, the popularity of the Bordeaux pink wine Claret grew in popularity in Europe.
In 19th-century France, Rose became the emblematic summer drink, and the French loved relaxing with a glass of chilled Rose by the beach.
In the 20th century, the Portuguese winemakers Mateus and Lancers started producing sweet Rose wines that quickly became fashionable in Europe and the US.
However, their popularity plummeted after a while since the European market was more oriented towards dry Rosés and the American White Zinfandel (a sweet blush wine) was on the rise.
But, the craze about Rosés exploded in the early 2000s. Since then some of the most luxurious brands like Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennessy, Veuve Clicquot, and even Channel started buying wine houses that produce Rose.
How is Rose Wine Made?
Rose wine can be produced in five different ways:
The most popular way of achieving a soft pink color is the maceration method. The winemaker allows the grape skin to be in contact with the grape must for several hours.
This way, the color pigments from the grape skin bleed into the juice giving it a light pink color. This also adds to the flavor, tannin levels, and antioxidants of the wine
Some winemakers perform a cold soak maceration (maceration in lower temperatures) to extract the flavors and color while reducing the oxidation of the grape must.
The Saignée method involves removing some of the juice from the grape must during maceration. This way, the grape-must has a greater concentration of color, tannins, and flavor and is used for making red wine.
The bled juice, on the other hand, can be used to make superior quality Rosés. However, some wine critics are not fond of it because the bled juice is seen as a by-product of the red winemaking process.
3. Vin Gris
Winemakers who use the Vin Gris method do not allow for any maceration time. Instead, they directly press the grape must and remove the grape skins.
This way, the grape skins have a very short period of time to change the color of the juice before it ferments. This method produces some of the palest Rose wines.
Rose can be produced by decolorizing a red wine with charcoal. The charcoal has active carbon ingredients that absorb the color of the wine. However, this can also strip the wine of its flavors, making decolorization a rarely-used method.
Blending involves mixing white and red wines during or after fermentation and has been performed for centuries.
However, blending is only allowed and preferred in the making of pink Champagne and in some New World wine regions. It is strictly prohibited in Europe.
Rose Wine Styles
Rose wines come in all variations - sweet, semi-sweet, dry, and even sparkling.
1. Dry Rose Wine
- Cabernet Sauvignon Rose: This style of wine resembles the taste of red wine. It’s highly acidic with a distinct flavor of cherry sauce, black currant, and pepper spice.
- Sangiovese Rose: Sangiovese Rose is a popular pink wine style from Italy. This type of grape produces dry wine with floral notes of rose petal, watermelon, and strawberry.
- Pinot Noir Rose: This style of Rose has a soft texture and fruity flavors of apple, strawberry, and raspberry.
- Mourvedre Rose: The full-bodied Mourvedre Rose has an elegant pale pink color, wonderful floral notes, and subtle flavors of cherry, plum, and smoke.
- Syrah Rose: This bold dry Rose has an intense pink color, silky texture, and delightful fruity aromas of cherry, juicy peach, and strawberry.
- Grenache Rose: Grenache Rose is a dry wine with deep pink color and high acidity. It has intense fruity flavors of strawberry, pomegranate, orange, and gentle floral hints.
- Tempranillo Rose: Tempranillo is a Spanish red grape variety, and it produces a beautiful dry Rose with fruity notes of strawberry and a subtle herbaceous flavor.
- Cabernet Franc Rose: This type of Rose has a light fruity aroma of strawberry and cherry. Each flavorful sip is accompanied by well-balanced acidity and a long-lasting zesty finish.
- Provence Rose: This classical French wine from the region of Provence is a blend of different grape varieties. It has an amazingly crisp taste and a rich flavor of watermelon and rose petal.
- Tavel Rose: Rose from the Tavel region of Southern France is also a blend of a variety of grapes. It has a very dry fruity flavor that, with time, develops distinctive earthy and nutty tasting notes.
2. Sweet and Semi-sweet Rose Wine
- White Zinfandel: This sweet Rose has strawberry, cotton candy, and melon flavors, and it is the perfect wine to sip on at a party.
- Pink Moscato: This beautiful pink wine is an explosion of flavors like apricot, peach, cherry, and orange.
- White Merlot: White Merlot Rose is a sweet wine with great blueberry and plum flavor followed by a soft, smooth finish and gentle sweetness.
3. Rose Champagne
Rose Champagne is a delightful sparkling wine with a refreshing flavor. This wine is made only in the Champagne region of France.
Rose Wine Regions
Rose wine is produced all over the world. Let’s take a look at the major Rose production regions.
France is the traditional Old World Rose wine region. The most famous Rose appellations are:
- Provence: More than half of the wines from this region are Rose wines. The major Rose AOCs include Cotes de Provence and Coteaux d' Aix en Provence. Blended Provencal Rose wines can be made with Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan, Mourvedre, and Tibouren.
- Tavel: The Tavel appellation is located in the Rhone Valley region. It is the only AOC that exclusively produces Rose wines. Tavel pink wines usually have around 60% Grenache grapes, at least 15% Cinsault, and the remainder could be Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah, or Carignan.
- Loire valley: The majority of the Loire Rose wines come from Anjou, Touraine, and Saumur. At least 30% of the Rose blend wine grapes have to be Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest can include Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Groslot.
- Champagne: The classic Rose Champagnes account for 3-5% of the total Champagne production in the Champagne AOC. The color is produced by adding some Pinot Noir wine to the Champagne blend.
Other French Rose wine regions include Languedoc Roussillon, Jura, and Bordeaux.
Italian pink Rose wines are produced throughout the country. The northern parts produce more elegant and soft Italian Rosés, while the southern parts produce the full-bodied, dry Rose.
In Tuscany, you’ll find a sweeter Rose made with the Sangiovese grape varietal.
German Rose wines are called rosewein. They can be produced either with one grape variety (labeled as Weißherbst) or with several (labeled as Rotling.)
The Spanish appellation of Nevara produces beautiful Rosado wines made mostly with Grenache and other grape varieties like Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carignan.
Other wine regions that produce Rose are Alicante, Jumilla, and Tierra de Leon.
Portugal produces both still and sparkling Rose wine. The majority of the Portuguese Rosés are made with Tempranillo grapes.
6. The USA
Blush wines with higher sugar levels became very popular in the US market. The majority of them are White Zinfandel, White Merlot, and Cabernet Blanc, most of which come from the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California.
Long Island also produces Rose wines, but they’re dry and resemble the French pink wine style.
Read more: Find out how to build a stylish wine cellar and store your wine collection properly!
Rose Wine Taste and Food Pairings
Most Rose wines have distinctive fruity flavors of red fruit, melon, and citrus, and a light floral aroma. The texture, acidity, and flavor profile of the wine also varies depending on the grape varieties used.
Dry Rosés go well with foods like pasta, sushi, and salads. Sweeter Rose wines can be served along with soft cheese platters, grilled meat dishes, spicy foods, and seafood. A sparkling Rose goes perfectly with game meats, lobster, or light fruity desserts.
Also read: Check out how many calories there are in a glass of your favorite wine.
How to Serve Rose Wines
To enhance Rose’s flavors, it’s best to serve it at 4-10 °C. You can chill the wine in an ice bucket or a fridge for a few hours before drinking.
Serve Rose in tulip-shaped Champagne glasses to preserve the flavors and maintain the low temperature for longer.
Decanting your Rose before serving it will allow the wine to breathe and enhance its pleasant fresh fruit flavors.
Next, let’s see the most elegant bottles of Rose you can buy in 2021!
The Best Rose Wines to Buy in 2021
1. Dom Perignon Rose Gold 1996
That’s one of the most elegant Champagnes produced from the famous Dom Perignon wine house. The Rose Gold edition has fruity fig and apricot flavor with a subtle nutty taste.
Price of Dom Perignon Rose Gold 1996: $49,000
2. Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut Rose Millesime 1996
This Chardonnay - Pinot Noir blend is a cheerful sparkling wine with delightful bubbles with a creamy texture and bright acidity. It has rich grapefruit and peach flavors with a light almond aftertaste.
Price of Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut Rose Millesime 1996: $2,184
3. Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut Rose 1985
Another gentle bubbly from Dom Perignon that’s aged for over three decades. This fizzy Rose has a rich citrusy aroma with a soft brioche taste and mineral notes.
Price of Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut Rose 1985: $2,884
4. Henri Giraud 'Argonne' Ay Grand Cru Brut Rose 2008
This classic Champagne blend has a beautiful pink hue and high acidity. It is a delicious combination of strawberry, cherry, and vanilla flavors with a subtle cream and oak aftertaste.
Price of Henri Giraud 'Argonne' Ay Grand Cru Brut Rose 2008: $1,290
5. Domaine Prieure Roch Bourgogne 'Roses' Rose 2017
This still Rose wine is a single varietal made with 100% Pinot Noir grape. It tastes of rich red berries taste and has subtle earthy flavors.
Price of Domaine Prieure Roch Bourgogne 'Roses' Rose 2017: $152
6. Muse de Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose 2018
This beautiful dry Rose has a crisp texture and a pale pink color. The rare Rose blend brings out flavors of marmalade, ripe peaches, and lychee.
Price of Muse de Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose 2018: $152
7. Rose & Arrow Estate 'Black Walnut' Worden Hill Pinot Noir 2016
Another Pinot Noir varietal Rose with a smooth texture and high acidity. The rich dark fruit flavors are complemented by earthy undertones and a gentle black walnut aftertaste.
Price of Rose & Arrow Estate 'Black Walnut' Worden Hill Pinot Noir 2016: $146
8. Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose 2015
This delightful Rose has a high alcohol volume of 14% and an elegant pink color. The wine combines flavors of strawberry, vanilla, butter, and minerals that’s indeed the true taste of a traditional Provence pink wine!
Price of Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose 2015: $130
9. Antica Terra 'Angelicall' Rose 2018
This Oregon Pinot Noir Rose is a delightful combination of raspberry, cherry, and sweet spice flavors complemented by mild earthy undertones.
Price of Antica Terra 'Angelicall' Rose 2018: $140
10. Cascina Baricchi Rose delle Casasse 2012
This Rose is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes and is produced in the heart of Italy. It offers complex flavors of dark fruits, vanilla, and tobacco with a distinctive tar and roses scent.
Price of Cascina Baricchi Rose delle Casasse 2012: $116
Should You Invest in Rose Wine?
Some of the best Champagnes in the world are Rosés, and they often outperform their traditional Champagne counterparts. That’s why Rose Champagnes are a promising long-term investment.
A rare bottle of Dom Pérignon Rosé 1959, for example, was sold for $42,700 at the Acker Merrall & Condit auction in New York in 2008.
A 6-liter Methuselah bottle of Dom Perignon Rose Gold 1996 was sold for a whopping $49,000! Note that only 35 bottles of this kind have ever been produced.
Still Rose wines, on the other hand, do not have the same age potential and are meant to be drunk young.
However, some still Rose wines like Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence and the Bandol AOC wines are aged in oak barrels to attain more complexity and richer flavors. Even though they have higher aging potential, such wines do not increase much in value over the years.
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