A Rosé by Any Name Is a Very Refreshing Wine

roseIn France and other wine-growing countries, it’s known as Rosé (pronounced ro-ZAY).

In Spain, it’s known as Rosado.

Change that D to a T, and you’ve got Italian Rosato.

Whatever the name, these are the most refreshing wines of summer, and given the summer we’ve been having in so many parts of the country this year, a little refreshment is most welcome.

There are two basic ways to make rosé-style wines — including one you could do at home on your own.

  1. Mix two parts white wine with one part red wine. Not very scientific, and there’s no guarantee the flavors of the two wines you select will mesh… but it’s a way.
  1. Lightly tinted grape juice is bled off following a brief maceration with the grapes. A wine’s color comes from its skins, so if you limit skin contact, the wine made from red-wine grapes will end up lighter in hue.

That process also mitigates the tannic bite of many red varietals, allowing bright acidity to come to the fore and the refreshment to be elevated.

The Vinesse tasting panel recently curated a wonderful selection of rosé-style wines, and you can read about them here.

In addition to being thirst-quenching, these are among the most versatile of all wines when it comes to food pairing. Spanish tapas? You bet. Italian small plates? Yes. Seafood? Absolutely.

As tasty and refreshing as rosé-style wines are, they are not without controversy.

Normally, we strongly suggest that you do not chill wines too much, because cold temperatures mute the flavors. Whenever I visit a winery’s tasting room and am served an ice-cold wine as a sample, my immediate reaction is: “What are they trying to hide?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked a tasting room attendant to open a fresh bottle when I can’t taste the cold wine in my glass. This most often happens when a winery first opens its doors in the morning, and the wine was opened the previous day and chilled overnight.

But back to rosés. With these wines, I actually have no problem with chilling them down. In fact, I encourage it. Rosés are not about depth of flavor; that’s what regular table wines are for. Rosés are about refreshment, so don’t be afraid to drink them cold.

Heck, I’ve even been known to plop an ice cube in a glass of rosé. Just don’t tell the boss…

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes, Wine in the Glass
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