• Notes on Rosé

    Notes on Rosé

     Surprisingly there is no International definition of a “Rosé Wine” except everyone agrees that red grapes have something to do with it. Neither regarded as a red wine nor a white wine but in between. Any red variety and some white varieties can be found in bottles labelled “Rose”. So it is better to approach the subject by looking at the range of Rosé wine styles that are available and these depend very much on how they are made. Each style can be enjoyed in different situations.

    1. Sweet Rosé - common in Australia and made for the people who like Muscato. A style disliked by the remainder of wine drinkers. Commonly made by adding red juice concentrate to a white wine (illegal in France) or mixing red and white wines. Best drunk chilled, without food. Low price.
    2. Light Red – another common Australian style, usually >13% alc. And without a dry ‘finish”. Has a ‘see through’ red colour. Often made by ‘bleeding’ (the French call running off’) in the process of making two wines, one heavier (ie a BIG red), the other lighter. A goof light bodied “quaffing wine’ suitable for roast chicken or pork, not unlike an inferior Pinot Noir wine.

    3. True Rosé - or in the French manner. Pale. Delicate with a subtle dry finish and usually <13%alc. Made like a white wine but using red grapes-crushing then pressing then fermenting the juice (ie little or no skin contact). Serve chilled. This is a fresh frivolous wine, not to be aged, to be enjoyed at Summer lunchtimes at picnics or late afternoons with entrées. It is not a surprise that 40% of the wine sold at Supermarkets in France is Rosé. Worth paying $20 - $30/bottle.  

    4. Sparkling Rosé – (aka ‘Pink Champagne’) – this is serious stuff, with aged versions selling in the hundreds of dollars. For beginners a ‘non-vintage’ (means 18 months on yeast lees) will introduce you to the style before moving on to the ultimate wine experience of ‘vintage’(means minimum of 3 years on yeast lees). The top ones can have 10 years on lees and 5 years post disgorging to give memorable flavour complexity. Always use a white wine glass with quality sparkling wines. Flutes are for people who want to watch bubbles.

    First published for the International Rose Festival Morwell November 2019 

    Image Cedit Anita Foard



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