03 Aug, 2020
Since French rosé wine became popular in the early 2000s, it has been increasingly in popularity across the globe. We know your social media will have been flooded with photos of friends and influencers alike showcasing their latest pale pink bottle. So we though we better get you a guide to keep you in the know about all things rosé.
Rosé is a versatile wine made in a variety of styles. This pink wine effortlessly pairs with a variety of dishes- making it perfect for get-togethers, relaxed catch ups, or even to toast wedding nuptials.
Thanks to improvements in the quality of winemaking, the profile of rosé has evolved and they now range from sweet to dry and light to full-bodied, providing more options to choose from than ever before.
Intrigued and want to find out more? You know a good wine when you sample a glass - but how about a bit of knowledge to back up what your taste buds are telling you?
What makes a nice rosé wine and how is it made? From vineyard to the first chilled sip, we've put together our guide to rosé wine - appreciate this blushing beauty time and again.What is rosé wine?
Charming, bright and versatile, rosé wine is similar in character to a refreshing white, but takes its hue from the grapes that create bold reds. This delicious pink drop blooms with a spectrum of shades - from bright and rosy to pale blushes.
Originating from the Mediterranean, rosé was created when there was a shortage of white wine,but it's now emerging as a shining star in its own right.
How is rosé wine made and with which grapes?
Although originating in Europe, this rosé wine is now created by quality winemakers around the world. From France to South Africa, Argentina to the USA, vintners expertly craft rosé wine using a wide variety of grapes.
The grapes used to create rosé wine include Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Barbera, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Pinot Gris.
Dark Horse Rosé uses a blend of different grapes to create a bright, crisp and concentrated fruit characteristics. The grapes used in Dark Horse Rosé include Grenache, Tempranillo, Barbera and Pinot Gris.
A common misconception about rosé is that it's made by blending red and white together - usually the only time this happens is during the creation of gloriously light and bubbly bottles of rosé Champagne.
To create the wide selection of rosé we have today quality winemakers - using the ‘skin contact method’ - allow the crimson-coloured skin of grapes a short amount of contact with the juice. Usually this is only a few hours but varies between winemaker. The deeper the colour of the rosé indicates how long the skin contact was carried out for. This process happens after crushing, either before or during when the wine is fermented and, once the skins are removed, beautiful blushes and radiant rosés are made as a white would be.
Another method of producing rosé wine is saignée. The word saignée means 'to bleed' in French and so this technique involves 'bleeding' some macerated juice during the early stages of red wine production. This therefore produces a darker, fruitier and bolder rosé wine - perfect for those looking for a deeper flavour.
What does rosé wine taste like?
The magnificent thing about rosé wine is that you'll almost certainly find a drop to suit your taste. Winemakers can create a huge array of rosé wines all with varying tasting notes, body and sweetness.
Depending on the rosé you sample, you'll find bursts of a variety of incredible aromas and combinations. Paler, blush-like rosés will often have light hints of grapefruit, raspberries or strawberries, while darker shades, verging on crimson, will boast tones of blackberry and blackcurrant. Deeper rosé wines are richer and more jammy, while blush wines have a lighter feel that dances on the tongue.
Dark Horse’s rosé is a crisp, dry-style rosé which explodes with hints of red fruit. It’s a bright Californian wine with floral aromas, notes of sumptuous strawberries and a subtle minerality. It’s a brave and bold take on a classic Provence-style from pioneering winemaker Beth Liston.
Is rosé wine sweet or dry?
The true charm of this wine is its desire to satisfy a range of palates. You'll discover everything from a rose-coloured, sweet White Zinfandel through to deliciously dry, pale pink Provençal in the rosé wine family. Many rosés are in fact a blend of different grape types.
Sweet rosé wines include:
- Pink Moscato
- White Zinfandel
- White Merlot
- White Grenache
Dry rosé wines include:
- Pinot Noir
Rosé wine food pairings
A perfectly chilled glass of bright blush accompanied by a picnic or barbecue with friends on a balmy summer's evening is the ultimate combination. But, due to the spectacular spectrum of rosé wine available, you'll find a food pairing to suit all weather conditions, occasions and taste buds.
For instance, a glass of sweet White Zinfandel pairs incredibly well with a variety of mouth watering meals - from spicy curries to pomegranate salads. You could even pair it with desserts such as an almond cake with raspberry-rhubarb compote.
Dry, Provençal-style rosé wine has subtly different food pairing suggestions. Tuck in to lighter pastas, crisp salads and grilled seafood. Salad Niçoise with albacore tuna for example. Salty snacks such as roasted cashews are also a hit with this style of rosé.
Rosé serving temperature
Rosé is typically a wine for fine, warm weather conditions meaning it's usually best served chilled. However, there are several varieties of rosé, plus a number of settings and circumstances for you to enjoy a bright glass of blush, meaning the temperature to serve your wine will also vary.
If the weather's hot, serving your rosé well-chilled will add to the romance of the situation.
Pop your pale pink bottle on ice when you’re off out for a summer adventure with friends, to keep things cool for a picnic at the beach or a backyard barbecue.
If you're sitting down to a lovingly-made meal - and you've carefully paired the wine with the dish - chilling the wine too much will strip away the flavours you're searching for. When you’ve taken the lead and made your signature dish, serve your rosé at about 12°.
Keep in mind that the type of wine you're drinking will also make a difference to the optimal serving temperature. For instance, if you're going to drink a White Zinfandel, or any other sweet rosé, it's often best to chill it first in order to temper its sweetness.
However you serve your glass, rosé is an elegant wine full of passion that continues to gain popularity with wine lovers the world over. Whether you're in search of a sweet, jammy rosé to enjoy with a spicy Asian dish or a pale, dry blush to sip alongside a light salad - rosé wine is perfect to share with friends all year round.