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Snooth User: Callie Exas

Rosé 101

Posted by Callie Exas, Jun 9, 2008.

I don't know why, but when I think of rosé wine, I always get the image of college kids (myself included) drinking from a box. Am I the only one to have this preconceived notion that rosé is for amateurs? As it turns out, I'm wrong and can happily admit that I enjoy drinking rosé wine. This is a wine that is fun and floral and fruity…what’s there not to love just right there?

These wines are fun and carefree. It’s the quintessential picnic for two beverage. They're meant to be enjoyed in the here and now. I wouldn't call rosé a surface level wine, since there are definitely more than a few producers out there that can make a complex and deep Rose, but speaking generally, when I drink a rosé I don't look for any sort of great epiphany. I'm just happy about drinking it and that's it. You really can't have any kind of expectations of these wines so really, why bother?

There are more than a few great characteristics that seemingly flow through rosé. I touched on one or two of them a little before with my Summer Reds 101 post, but let’s review anyway. Firstly, there are a couple of different ways to make rosé. Typically, rosé is made by leaving some skin in contact with the juice for a short period of time in the vats. The second and less common approach is called Saignée, which means bleeding. Basically, soon to be red wine is removed from its vats and the rosé wine is produced as a by-product. Lastly, there’s blending, which is pretty basic but generally frowned upon. You take some red and you take some white and you blend it together until you get the shade of pink you want.

Rosé wines make for great summer quaffers both alone and with meals. Because they have more skin contact during the fermentation process, rosé tends to have a little bit more body than your average straight up white wine. So you can be assured that it will be able to stand up to a your summer salads and seafood dishes.

Lately I’ve been drinking a lot of rosé from Provence (because Provence makes the good stuff), but you can pretty much find rosé wines from anywhere in the world made from all types of darker skinned grapes i.e. Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. These wines tends to be fresh, crisp, and fruity, however rosé wines definitely range in taste from the sweeter California white zins to very dry wines from Bordeaux and some are capable of aging beautifully.

So anyway, if you're around this Thursday and looking to taste something different, New York Wine Company will be hosting a lovely evening of pink wines expertly paired with a four-course dinner. We’ll be talking all about rosé and I assure you that you’ll walk away from the evening happy and maybe a little bit pink. If you'd like to know more about the evening feel free to click here: Drink Pink with New York Wine Co .

Hope to see some of you there!

Callie Exas has just launched her wine career at New York Wine Co. in Manhattan. So far so good!


Reply by Philip James, Jun 9, 2008.

Callie - Every year I read that "Rose is on the rise", this year's no exception, here's a thread about it from Talk:

And whats "Saignée"? Thats something i've never heard of

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jun 10, 2008.

I like the idea of letting rose be the carefree drink and enjoy wine. Salut!

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Jun 10, 2008.

Saignée or "bleeding" is when you take some of the free-run juice from red grapes and make a rose from it (you can then make red wine from the remaining grapes). Some argue that this produces the finest and most elegant rose... but it can be an expensive process if you don't have an outlet for all that red wine!

Reply by Philip James, Jun 10, 2008.

OK, so the three methods are: free run juice > short maceration time > blending, in decreasing order of perceived quality.

What about aging white wine in tanks previously used for red wines? They do that with whiskey, but ive not seen it with wine ever.

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Jun 10, 2008.

I've never heard of that technique. I think you'd have major hygiene problems if you left anything in a red wine tank when you put white wine in it. As for barrels, why would you barrel age your rose?

Blog comment by CNSmith, Jun 17, 2008.

Every year I read that “Rose is on the rise”...

Yes, for like the twelve years, and yet, thaankfully, it doesn't seem to getting much increased traction. Weird.

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