Rosé is a style of wine that is made when juice from red grapes is left in contact with the skins for only a short period of time. The resulting wine has more characteristics of the grapes themselves, and not usually any tannins or other flavors from the skins. This skin contact gives the wine shades of delicate pinks or oranges, up to bright and vivid salmons or deep pinks, depending on the amount of contact and possibly the winemaking techniques used.
There are three ways of producing rosé wine: direct press (grapes harvested for making rosé only where the juice is allowed short contact with the skins), blending (mixing a bit of red wine into a white wine and the color will be dictated by the ratio of red to white wine) and saignée (making red wine by draining off some juice after minimal skin contact, thereby changing the remaining ratio of skins to juice, and allowing the red wine to be deeper in color.)
Rosé wine can be made from a wide variety of grapes cultivated around the world making, the market for rosé wine quite global. Over the past decade, the demand for rosé has grown by leaps and bounds, and the focus has been mainly on production of dry wines made in the style of French rosé from Provence, and less on the styles popular in the 1980s and 1990s, such as sweet Portuguese rosés and off-dry to sweet White Zinfandels. The high demand has now caused producers to start overproducing rosé, especially in areas like the west coast.
What are the current trends for 2019 in rosé? Rosé wines, both still and sparkling, are still highly sought after. Look for wines made from a single variety, rather than a blend. Look for wines made from a specific site or vineyard; it should be stated on the label. Single sites or single vineyards often give wine more of a sense of place when tasted year after year, and when tasted compared to other wines. Seek out site/vineyard-specific or single-variety wines from say Australia, Portugal, or Argentina, or rosé made from unusual grapes. Also, canned rosés are available. Rosé is meant to be drunk early, so cans are a perfect vessel for if. Cans are easy to pack and transport for a day at the beach, the races, or a picnic, and best of all: no corkscrew is needed.
What rosé trend will you try this year? Why not try a sparkling rosé made from Grolleau (Antoine Simoneau Touraine Brut Rosé), or a rosé made from Montepulciano (Campi Valerio Rosa di Campi Rose), or perhaps a rosé made from Barbera (Bricco dei Tati Barbera Rosé)?
If you find yourself invited to a Mother’s Day brunch, a Memorial Day barbecue, or a dinner party with friends and you aren’t sure what to bring for your host or hostess, consider a rosé.