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Think Pink: Some Things to Know About Rosé

When it comes to wine, nothing screams summer like rosé. 

You may be surprised to find out that rosé is all about the color and can be made out of just about any grape. That means there will be a wide variance in flavors depending on the grapes used, the region producing the wine, and the method used for coloring the wine (maceration and blending are the most common). 

Rosés get their lovely pinkish hue from the skins of red grapes, which touch the wine for only a few hours. Winemakers control the shade by removing the skins when the wine achieves its desired color.

Here are some of the most common types of rosé:

Grenache

The grape that is a hallmark of the fruity, lean style of rosé produced in Provence. Wine Folly calls Provence rosé “the little black dress of pink wines.” It’s crisp, dry, with aromas of strawberry, watermelon, and rose petal with a pleasantly light salinity on the finish. It pairs beautifully with just about any food and it’s great to drink on its own. Like most rosés, the Provencal style is typically a blend of two to three grapes with Grenache being predominant. Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvédre are common blending grapes. We have two Provencal-style wines including H&B, which is made in Provence, for $24, and Birichino Vin Gris Rosé, which is a California blend of traditional French grapes, for $18. If you’re really feeling like a French splurge, we will soon have an amazing Provencal rosé from Gerard Betrand for $150. 

Tempranillo

This is a classic grape associated with Spain. As a rosado, it’s typically a pale pink with a few herbaceous notes to balance out the fruit. It’s largely produced in the Rioja region and other parts of Spain. An example we carry is Muga Rosado, which has notes of peach, apricot, watermelon, and strawberries. It's on the dry side, so it's nicely crisp with a silky mouthfeel. Like other Spanish wines, this one is a great deal at $15.

Syrah 

The “meatiest” of pink wines, common aromas include cherry, white pepper, red pepper flake and lime zest. It’s often found in rosés from Southern France, Northern Italy, Northern Spain and California. It’s on the bolder, savory side of blush and pairs nicely with pepperoni pizza or chili. We carry Marietta Cellar’s OVR Rosé from California. It’s a blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes picked from some of the oldest vines in the state. It tastes of bright stone fruits (peach, apricot) and lemon tart with a creamy mouth feel. It’s $15. 

Sparkling 

A blush bubbly wine can be made out of just about any grape. Sparkling wines are really versatile in pairing with food and a cold bottle of bubbles is just fun. We carry Zardetto Z Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry from a leading Italian maker of Prosecco. It’s made with 100% Raboso Veronese, a deep red grape largely cultivated in the eastern part of Veneto. It has fresh aromas of cherry and red currant with good acidity and a velvety smooth finish. It’s just $12.

Other common grapes that make fantastic rosé include Pinot Noir, common to California, France, and Oregon, and Sangiovese, common in Italy. Both of these grapes make wines on the fruitier spectrum of rosé. 

And here’s an uncommon type:

Corsican

We were happily blown away by Domaine Vetriccie Rosé, a balanced, summery taste of red fruit, melon and pomegranate from Corsica, an island sitting in the Mediterranean to the south of France. It’s a blend of three grapes — two of which we’ve never heard of (which is more of an indicator of our ignorance than anything) —  Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, and Grenache. This feels like a love child of French and Italian rosés with some of the best characteristics of both. And unlike the more expensive Provencal wines, this is a bargain at $12. 

The nice thing about blush wines is that you can find some really wonderful values that go down easy on a hot summer day. So try some different styles and find your favorites.