Everything you need to know about rosé wine
Discover rosé wine
If you are looking for a wine to offer as an aperitif with your friends, fruity rosé wine is an ideal choice . The excellent news is that its price is within everyone's reach. Rosé wine is, in fact, considered the king wine intended to accompany fresh meals. From bleeding rosé to pressing rosé, including maceration rosé , its vinification process is both particular and demanding.
So why do we care so much about it? What is it, how do you get it, what are its grape varieties?
Rosé wine: for the record
You will agree, it is considered the oldest of wines. Provence is the first region where the production of rosé wine was born . The culture of the vine developed there, many centuries ago. It was around the 3rd millennium BC that the production of grapes developed. Yes, the good rosé wine of Provence has lived to spare!
The first vines were established in the region of Provence by the Greeks who founded Marseille . The wine was light in color at the time .
After the crushing of the grapes, the juice obtained was fermented. The mode of maceration was done in the respect of the tradition. Indeed, the must had to be separated from the juice during fermentation.
From the rise of the Roman Empire, the progress of viticulture was born throughout Gaul. The church sees itself in full use of the clear wine which is, within the framework of religious ceremonies, called claret. Increasingly, its production and marketing are growing. Clear wine is thus defined as a healthy and fresh wine.
For consumers looking for a convivial, spontaneity and simplicity wine, it is already the best ally.
Making rosé wine: why is it pink?
Basically, the process of making rosé wine is the same as that of red wine . In reality, the more the must is macerated in contact with the skins, the more the wine obtains an intense color . Therefore, by separating the must from the wine, the coloring is less pronounced. Yes, it is the pigments contained in the skin of black grapes that make rosé wines colorful .
And if we were talking about the vinification of rosé wine!
There are 3 of them, namely maceration rosé, pressing rosé and saignée rosé. We tell you more right here!
This type of rosé is made by harvesting black grapes . Contrary to popular belief, maceration rosé cannot be made with black grapes or white grapes. But in vats, the maceration must imperatively be short. This can last 12 hours, 24 hours or even 32 hours and this in order to vary the color.
The exercise aims to separate the berries from the skin, pulp, seeds and grape juice . During vatting, the pigments ( anthocyanins ) in the grapes permeate the juice and tint to provide a rosy color.
The must is then pressed and separated from the solid parts. It is here that the fermentation will begin, which will take place at temperatures between 18 and 20°C; thus to preserve the aroma content.
This is the white vinification of red grapes. It is strongly recommended to press the grapes with the skin on, since salmon rosé is the desired color. It is a lighter rosé than the maceration rosé . This vinification consists of pressing the grapes directly after the harvest. After this, the juice is in vats and subsequently fermented.
Made like maceration rosé, saignée rosé wine is obtained from red grapes . The maceration of red grapes as part of its production does not last long in vats. After half a day, the juice in the vat takes on a pinkish color and the vat is then bled. This expression “we bleed the vat” means that part of the must obtained is transferred to a different barrel where the wine will be fermented. The rest of the must will therefore be used to make red wine.
Attention ! If the maceration lasts too long, you risk finding yourself faced with a red wine. If the pressing rosé is made without skin, the saignée rosé is made with the skins. The purpose of this vinification is to obtain a very accentuated rosé wine . After fermentation, we remove from the vat, the rosé wine has then decanted; this in order to keep the sweetness and finesse of the aromas.
Some grape varieties of rosé wine
Several grape varieties are used today for the production of rosé wines . To make a good rosé wine, white grape varieties are not popular, on the other hand many black grape varieties are knocking on the door to produce good natural rosé wines , biodynamic rosé wines , organic rosé wine . Cinsault , Syrah , Grenache , Pinot Noir , Gamay , among others, are the essential grape varieties for the production of rosé wines. They are split into two large groups: Southeast and Northeast. There are then few rosé wines from Provence in the South West.
The grape varieties of the South-East
- The Cinsault
Cinsault is a grape variety grown in France. Known as Black Malvoisie, this variety is very fertile and perfectly resistant to drought.
Once it is cultivated in fertile land, production is increased and its wines are of very good quality . The wines made from this grape variety are fine, generous and even vigorous.
Syrah is more present in the Côtes du Rhône, precisely in the northern part of the region. This variety leans on the production of rosé wines .
Several winegrowers, in order to produce the best wines, combine it with Roussanne and Marsanne . This variety gives the wine a structured tone. Its aromas of black fruits and spices give it a balanced touch.
- The Mourvèdre
This variety develops very well in warm lands. With aromatic flavors of ripe fruit, violets and spices, this offers wines with a structured character.
- The Carignan
Low-yielding hillsides are ideal for Carignan. It offers structured and intense wines, thus being characterized by aromas of spices.
The grape varieties of the North-East
- Pinot Noir
It is the best known grape variety in the northern part of the country. It is cultivated both in Alsace and in Lorraine.
The Burgundy region is one of the flagship terroirs for the production of pinot noir . It is also found in the Jura, Touraine, Auvergne… Cultivated in cold regions, this variety will have the possibility of offering quality wines . Wines made from rosé grape varieties with a striking aromatic complexity.
Gamay has existed for more than 4 centuries. It provides the best of itself in siliceous and granite soils, producing very good vintages . This variety is intended for the production of red wine and rosé wine. In terms of rosé wine, it offers a fruity, fresh, gourmet tone on the palate.
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The notes of rosé wine
Rosé wine is often a sign of summer, sun and an aperitif with friends by the pool. Approaching your nose above the glass, eyes closed, you stroll among the fields of white flowers , the bouquets of roses , the rows of lavender and the hectares of vines as far as the eye can see. The floral notes of this sweet beverage are an invitation to travel that you cannot refuse.
We like to taste a good chilled rosé wine, some even add ice cubes to the glass to make the famous swimming pool rosé. Everyone has their own technique. In any case, the aromas of rosé bring us all together, its notes of exotic fruits and citrus fruits are all reasons to appreciate this wine as an aperitif, accompanied by a good sweet melon.
The color palette of rosé wine
Soft mixture of white and red, pink is a color that makes people talk about it. However, rosé wine is unique and does not come from a blend of red wines and white wines , its shorter maturation than that of red wine gives it its wonderful color. Then, its pellicular maceration and its malolactic fermentation give it a unique taste.
Its pink dress is authentic, unique and multiple at the same time. There are several shades of pink (not to be confused with shades of gray), from very pale pink to peach pink to grapefruit pink . When the sun is at its peak and it settles on the filled glass and bottle of rosé, the light reflects and the shadows dance to give us a wonderful visual spectacle.
The pigments responsible for the color of wines are called anthocyanins . We tell you a little more about it in this article .
Rosé food and wine pairings
Let's talk a little about taste pleasure and culinary associations. Wine is like dancing, alone is good, accompanied is even better! To accompany your good Côtes de Provence or Côtes de Gascogne , what could be better than a good Provençal cuisine based on white meats and a tian with summer vegetables. Rosés also go wonderfully well with salads to keep a nice freshness in the mouth. As the king of gastronomy , you can add fruit to the menu and bring a nice sweet/salty balance to echo these good fruity wines , light on the palate and with a nice roundness .
2021 trends & production in the world of rosé wines
If, like us, you are unconditional fans of rosé and the good atmosphere that accompanies it, the South of France is your paradise. From Languedoc-Roussillon, neighbor of the Pyrenees to Nice and its Southern Alps , it rains rosé wine in the absence of Lille rain, and it is not to displease us. IGP, AOC, AOP, there are thousands of appellations produced all over the Mediterranean coast of our very dear France.
This wine-growing region is turning year after year towards organic viticulture and winemaking that is more respectful of the environment, and it works! The paradisiacal climate of this wine-growing region allows the vines to flourish in a hot and dry climate , nourished by natural solutions in companionship with typical vegetation of the region. Yes, it is in the middle of lavender and olive trees, on limestone soils covered with maquis that the Provençal vine flourishes.
We can shout it loud and clear, with pride please, France is the first producer of rosé wine in the world with more than 6.4 million hectoliters far ahead of our runner-up the United States followed then by Spain. We are also told in our ears that we are the biggest consumers of rosé wine, and there, we beat everyone to the punch. Like what, French has taste, it's not a myth!