by Maxine Hendry
Ultra warm weather is here, and it’s officially time to start drinking pink! (Even though we’d like you to know it’s totally cool to drink rosé year round). You’ll want to stop by and check out our selection – we stock many options in different styles and at all price points.
Rosé (rose-ay) is the French name for pink wine, but it can also be labeled as rosado from Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, or rosato in Italy. It can be made still, semi-sparkling, or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels and different flavor profiles.
But do you understand how rosé wine is made? There are three main ways to make pink wine, but usually it is made by leaving crushed red grapes on their skins for a short amount of time.
You see, almost every grape has white juice – there are only two red-skinned grapes that have red juice (Those varietals are Alicante Bouschet and Saperavi FYI). The color and tannin in red wine comes from the juice spending time in contact with the skins and seeds for several days or weeks. With rosé, the skins spend just enough time to extract a pretty pink color which can mean just 2-20 hours. The shade of pink will vary depending on how long the skin contact is for–the longer the contact, the darker the color. That ranges from very pale (“onion-skin”) pink to dramatic shades of vivid purple. The darker color does not always mean the wine will be sweet. However, it is common for darker colored rosés to have more fruit flavor. Try one.
Other ways pink wine can be made is by a process called saignée (“sahn-yay” meaning to bleed), which involves “bleeding” off a portion of red wine juice after it’s been in contact with skins and seeds. Yet another way it’s made is literally mixing a bit of red wine into white wine. Sound like cheating? Well, the practice is generally frowned upon, so it’s relatively uncommon. But surprisingly, that’s how most Rosé Champagne is made!
Most pink wine you’ll encounter here at Mr. B’s will be dry, which means that it is not sweet. It can still be fruity though, even if it’s not sweet, and many of the flavors you will taste in pink wine include strawberry, raspberry, tart or sweet cherry, grapefruit, blood orange, black or red currants, green pepper and tomato. They can be very light in flavor, very full flavored, or anywhere in between. More often than not, the very pale pink wines will be lighter in flavor than the darker pink ones. But we’ll remind you again, a darker color doesn’t guarantee the wine is sweet, it just means it spent more time soaking with the skins. You shouldn’t be scared to try one!
You will find many rosés from France, but there are plenty from other countries like the US, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Greece, New Zealand, South Africa, and pretty much any country that makes wine!
Styles can vary, but as mentioned, most of the wines you will find at Mr. B’s are dry in style. If you like it really dry and light in flavor, a good go-to is any French rosé from Provence. This beautiful section of Southern France has several areas that make fantastically dry pink wine. Look for labels containing Côtes du Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois.
But we have many options from other areas of France such as the Loire Valley, Corsica, Languedoc. Don’t forget about those wines.
Other areas of Europe make wonderful rosé as well. Check out options from Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Austria!
Of course there’s plenty to choose from domestically, too – we’ve got selections from California and Oregon you’ll love!
And don’t forget bubbly! We have a great selection of dry, pink sparkling wines:
If you are looking for something sweet, look for the options labeled White Zinfandel and Pink Moscato. Also, there’s the delicious New Age pink from Argentina which is excellent served over ice with lime.