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How Rosé wines are made and how to pair them

The time is ripe for Rose, spring afternoons and evenings are perfect for relishing the refreshing, savoury characters of fabulous pink drops. But, as you sit back and sip its deliciousness, do you ever wonder exactly how Rosé is made?

Unlike white grapes that become white wine, and red grapes that become red wine, pink grapes don’t exist in nature. So, how do winemakers create a style of wine that always has such a beautiful pink color?

How Rosé Wines are made

A common misconception is that rosé can also be made by mixing red wine with white wine, but in fact, this process is frowned upon by the wine community.

The answer here is skin contact. Wines receive their color not from the juice but from the juice’s contact with the skin of the grapes. As the skins and the juice soak together the color from the skin bleeds into the juice, giving the wine its yellow or red color. This process is known as maceration.

The release of the pigments from the mash during red winemaking typically occurs over a few weeks. If this process is interrupted after just a few hours, only a little colouring will have been released from the grape skins. Once the juice has taken on a slight red hue, it is pressed and transferred to another tank where it continues to ferment without the skins. As a result, it will be bottled as rose wine.

The colour of Rosé can range from the lightest shades of pale pink to salmon, coral, hot pink, and ruby red. Primary fragrances and flavours of Rosé depend on the type of grape, or grapes, used, but will typically sit along the spectrum of red fruits and florals, melons and zesty citrus. Sometimes, you’ll find pleasant green characters, like rhubarb or strawberries with their leafy green tops still on. 

Are the pale Rosés better?

It’s a misconception that pale rosé wine always means better quality than a bottle with a brighter, pink hue. Any ideas about pale being better may have partly arisen due to the increased popularity and widely-recognised style of dry rosé Provençal, made in the wine-producing region of Provence in southeast France, and the related fall of old-style, Californian White Zinfandel.

While some connoisseurs tend to dismiss dark pink rosés, colour is not an indicator of quality but a feature to increase visual attractiveness, a rosé’s color does not directly correlate with its taste. A rosé wine’s tone can vary depending on a range of factors. Among other the most usuals are the amount of skin contact in the cellar, contact with oak and the grape varieties used in the wine.Thicker skins mean more potential colour extraction.

Traditionally dry rose’s are made from Grenache, Syrah, Sangiovese, or Pinot Noir.  Traditionally sweet rose’s are usually made from White Zinfandel, White Merlot or Pink Moscato.  You can’t really tell whether a rose is dry or sweet from the color, you really must know more about the varietal of the grape, and the typical regional style.

It all comes down to your own taste, of course. But the message is clear; don’t judge a rosé by its colour alone.

Rosé varieties

There is a much bigger variety of rosé, than people might know about. Yes, sweet, white Zinfandel will remain a hugely popular variety, but there are tons of others to take note of.

Fruity rosés can be made with grapes such as Grenache, Sangiovese, Mourvèdre or Pinot Noir, while Cabernet Sauvignon and Tavel varieties offer a more savoury finish.

The primary ten grapes used in rosé are:

  • Provence – fruity and delicate
  • Grenache – fruity
  • Sangiovese – fruity strawberry
  • Tempranillo – light, watermelon
  • Pinot Noir – fruity and delicate
  • Syrah – savory, strawberry
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – savory, deep cherry
  • Zinfandel – sweet
  • Tavel – dry and rich
  • Mourvèdre – flowery and fruity

The best way to enjoy a Rosé

We all love those summer afternoons accompanied by a nice Rosé. But what is the best way to serve it to take full advantage of its qualities?

Like white wine, rosé is best served in a medium-sized glass so that the fresh and fruity characteristics gather towards the top. You should treat it just as you would a white wine, not too cold that you can’t taste anything, but certainly chilled. If in doubt, follow the 20:20 rule.

The idea being that you should take your white or rosé out the fridge 20 minutes before serving, while reds should go in to the fridge 20 minutes before serving.

So come on, give rosé a chance, it’s may just be like rediscovering a summer love. Looking Ideas to pair your Rose? Keep reading we have the best ones!

How to pair rosé wine – The Perfect Match

Rosé is often seen as an aperitif or barbecue wine, suited to a sunny day more than any particular food but the reality is that it’s actually a very versatile food pair. Rosé can often do the job where a red or white might be lacking. Going back all the way through recorded wine history, pink wines are known to be incredibly compatible with all kinds of food. 

Let’s start with the classic option. Rosé wines and their sparkling varieties make for a delightful aperitif or a companion for starters such as tapas. Of course are also great with selected fish and barbecue dishes. If the BBQ dish has light spice flavors, try a rosé with a good amount of fruit. Darker-hued, full-bodied fruity rosés pair extremely well with a smoky BBQ dish.

We recommends choosing a pale pink light rosé, which tends to be drier, to pair with light dishes such as salads, fruit, seafood, shellfish and crudités. Since they are naturally low in fruit acids and tannins, many wine lovers also enjoy having them with Asian specialities such as curries or Thai food.

Also try mild, semi-hard cheeses such as Edam or young Gouda with delicately fresh and dry rosé-coloured wines: perfect harmony. And, naturally, Rosé wines are great partners for a fresh and fruity summer punch. Have a Pinot Noir Rosé together with strawberries and marvel at a combination that will not just tickle your taste buds but also please your sense of colour.

Try pairing your sparkling rosé with sweets, the crispness will balance out the sugar. Because of said crispness, it really pairs well with anything.

Generally that work best of all with rose, are the warm-climate cuisines. Greek dishes, Mexican food, Thai food, Provencal food, Indian food. And yes, for our vegan friends definitely this is the wine to pair all your dishes. 

Rosé in Slovakia

Slovakian wines are lively and fruity thanks to unique climatic and geological conditions. Over the last fifteen years, the fastest growing category of wine in Slovakia is rose, although it still accounts for only 5 % of production. 

The majority of wine production is situated in the warmest, southeastern corner of the country bordering with Austria and Hungary. With only around 400 producers many with only a few hectares, some wine are only produced in small quantities. Tasting a selection of roses made from Modry Portugal (Blauer Portugieser), Frankovka Modra (Blaufränkisch) and Cabernet Sauvignon in both dry and semi dry styles revealed a common character of vibrant red fruit (raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants and cherries) and fresh leafy acidity . Alcohols tends to be moderate between 11.5 % and 12.5 % abv. Some also had a touch of residual sugar emphasizing the fruitiness. 

Our favorites?

Now you know how it’s made and how to pair it, it’s time to drink  Rosé’s pink perfection and fill your spring with some delicious drops. Here our recommendations. 

Velkeer Tri Ruze Cabernet Sauvignon

(soon in our web shop) is rich with ripe, jammy raspberry fruit as well as fresh, herbaceous and green fruit and lively leafy acidity. 

Golguz, Rose Elizabeth

The wine is made from a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Blaufränkisch. The aroma is dominated by fruit colors, especially strawberries and blackberries. In the taste we find sweet tones of cream,reminiscent of strawberry ice cream. Worth to try it!

Château Topoľčianky, Cabernet Sauvignon

Is a pleasant and refreshing wine with a distinctive fruit aroma.The fragrance is fruity with a strong tone of strawberry and cherry. The taste is fresh with a slightly sweet strawberry

Golguz, Frizzante Elizabeth Rose

Was made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Blaufränkisch varieties. Gentle pink wine with the aroma of wild fruit and a slightly sweet taste. Ideal for parties as well as great quality appetizers.

Thanks for getting here! We hope you enjoyed this article and that we have cleared all your doubts and why not get inspired to taste new flavors. Visit us on our Facebook page and also on Instagram to keep up to date with all our content. Until next time!

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