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That which we call a Rosé | 05.05.2014
Rosé- fresh, juicy and an incredible partner for food. So why the stigma that all pink wine is sweet? History tells us that producing wine of a pale pink hue dates back to times of antiquity. With many of the breakthroughs in modern winemaking still unknown, it was very challenging to produce a full on red wine that wasn’t overly tannic and bitter. Considering wine was consumed in place of water you can see why choosing a lighter, fresher variety was desirable. A taste for pink prevailed through the centuries and continues to be produced all over the world-even entire appellations of France devoted to producing only Rosé.
With all of this history it wasn’t until Portugal’s sticky-sweet pink bubblers, like Mateus, hit the market that American’s began tipping their own Rose filled glass. In 1975 Sutter Home’s winemaking revelation i.e. a stuck Zinfandel fermentation* resulted in a sweet pink wine. Their happy accident was dubbed “White Zinfandel” and went on to sell 1.5 million cases in 1986. This marketing wonder forever changed public view of pink wine.
Aside from color, today’s dry Rosés share very little with these mass marketed blush wines. They come from regions all over the globe and can be made from many grape varieties, offering a wide variety of flavors and styles. This delightful spectrum of color not only makes them fun to drink it is a great clue to what is in the bottle. Wine gains its color via the time is spends with the skins of the grapes (maceration), so the darker the pink the more time with the skins. In the case of most Rosés they are made with red grapes and get their pale pink color from spending a minimal amount of time mingling with the grape skin. Rosés can of course be made from mixing red and white grapes together or by variations of the saignee** method. Aside from the fresh fruit flavors and typically herbaceous notes you can expect a sweetness that is very comparable to a fresh strawberry-ripe, but crisp and laced with a mouthwatering acidity.
From Champagne’s prestigious Brut Rosés to the humble country wines filling glasses all along the Mediterranean coast- Rosé is refreshing and versatile. Stop into the Co-op and see our fresh new selection of Dry Rosés!
“Rosé has no season and any day is a good day to have a glass.”-Kermit Lynch
*Stuck Fermentation is a problem in which the yeast dies off before all the sugar is turned to alcohol.
**Saignee: French word meaning to bleed. In winemaking it is the process of “bleeding” off some of the juice from the must to create a more concentrated red wine.