Usually identified by its light pink shade and transparent appearance, rosé wine has continued to grow in popularity across the United States in recent years. While the flavor of rosé can vary depending on where and how the grapes have been harvested, the flavor of rosé can range from high and dry to as sweet as sparkling wine.
Despite its recent popularity, it might surprise some wine enthusiasts to find out that rosé has a history as rich as its flavor. In the ancient Roman times, field-workers began creating a primitive version of rosé by harvesting red and white grapes, stomping on them, and then letting them ferment. The result was a dry, off-color pink wine that would later be named rosé.
As time went on, rosé wines became commonplace across Europe, and the process of making rosé changed and developed too. Today, the rosé that fills your glass may be nothing like the wine that the Ancient Romans used to drink, but there’s still plenty to appreciate about modern-day rosé.
Urban Myths About Rosé Wine
Much like merlot, cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir, there are plenty of urban myths out there surrounding rosé wine. One of the most common misconceptions has to do with how rosé is made.
While rosé was once a combination of red and white wine in ancient times, it’s no longer a mixture of the two. Today, the majority of rosé wine are made with “skin contact.” With this process, grapes are harvested earlier than usual for a stronger flavor. While the maceration procedure is similar to red wine, the juice is given much less time on the skins. The shorter this time is, the lighter the rosé will be.
Another common urban myth is that darker rosés that have spent more time on the skins are sweeter (and paler rosés are dryer), this isn’t true. The color of the rosé does correlate to how much time the juice spent on the skins, but it doesn’t necessarily affect the flavor or acidity of the wine.
When it comes to this pink wine, some wine enthusiasts may believe there are specific “rules” about where, when, and who can drink rosé. Given its color, some may think this wine is only suitable for women to enjoy or that it must be drunk before a meal. Neither of these is right—not only is rosé an excellent choice for everyone, but drinking it with food can enhance the experience.
Foods to Pair with Rosé Wine and How to Serve It
Contrary to popular belief, rosé is more than a pre-meal or appetizer wine. It can easily pair well with different foods, but it can depend on the type of rosé you purchase too.
For instance, light-dry rosés (such as Provencal rosés and Pinot Noir-based rosés) pair best with delicate foods. A crisp salad, light seafood, or pasta can make drinking a dryer rosé all the more enjoyable. Portuguese and other Loire rosés tend to taste similarly and go well with the same kinds of foods, although some wine enthusiasts may choose to pair a light-off dry rosé with curry or rice dishes.
A medium-dry rosé, like White Zinfandel, is often called a “blush” wine and tastes great when it’s combined with a dessert or some spicier dishes.
One of the most popular types of rosé, sparkling rosé, might be a great party wine. When it’s matched with sweeter desserts like cakes, muffins, or scones, sparkling rosé tends to shine. Keep in mind that, before serving rose, it’s not unusual for drinkers to swirl their wine or smell it.
Those that don’t frequently drink wine and rose may have questions about why do you swirl wine, how to swirl it, why do you smell wine, and even how do you smell wine. Enthusiasts may smell their rose to sniff out flavor differences. Swirling your rose may help it taste better.
Cork vs. Twist Cap: Is There a Difference?
For years, there’s been an ongoing debate regarding how a bottle of wine is sealed. While some wine enthusiasts will never touch a bottle of rosé that has a twist cap, others claim that twisty caps produce the best flavors.
According to winemakers, screw caps are often used on bottles that are intended to be drunk relatively young (rather than sit in someone’s wine cellar for several years). The twisty cap prevents any oxygen from entering the bottle and disturbing the wine.
When a wine is sealed with a cork, however, a little oxygen will usually get through the bottle. This is done intentionally: a little bit of oxygen can help more complex blends smooth out the tannins and age more gracefully.
Ultimately, the way your rosé is sealed won’t affect the quality of the wine too much in the long run, and you’ll likely see both versions at a wine tasting. That being said, if you plan on purchasing a bottle and letting it age for several years, a bottle with a cork may be the better option.
Pricing and the Best Rosé Wines to Keep on Hand
While some people may think of the pink wine as the cheap wine, the price of rosé can vary based on the brand you buy and whether or not you purchase a vintage bottle. However, many rosé wines tend to remain in the price range of $10-20. Some of the more popular rosé brands include Whispering Angel, VieVite, and Domaines Ott—and all of them include affordable options within this price range.
With so many options, it can be challenging to pin down which rosé wines you should keep on hand or give as gifts to family and friends.
For a balanced option that can satisfy both those that prefer a high-and-dry wine and those with a sweet tooth, there’s the 2018 Justin rosé. This crisp, medium-bodied rosé works well all-year-round and pairs with light finger foods or heavier meals.
A slightly cheaper option, the Dark Horse rosé is a much bolder option and might be a great affordable gift for wine enthusiasts that prefer their rosé a little dryer.
If you’re looking to sway someone over to the pink side, the 2018 Underwood rosé features fruity undertones and makes a great pairing at summertime BBQs and cookouts.
While these economical choices provide a great value, the world of rosé wine is vast, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
How to Serve and Save Rosé Wine
|What temperature do you serve rosé wine?||Like white wine, rosé wines should be served at a cooler temperature. 48-55 degrees. Cool a bottle of pinot noir in the refrigerator a few hours before you serve or put a bottle in the wine refrigerator at 48-55 degrees.|
|What type of glass is used to serve rosé wine?||Use a rose glass made by some manufacturers like Riedel (Extreme Rose by Riedel) or a universal wine glass. If you do not own rosé glasses, you find a diamond shaped glass that is wide a mid-point to allow for maximum alcohol evaporation with a narrow opening for the bubbles. Some wine experts recommend using a wine glass with a flared lip for younger rosés and a bowl shaped lip for mature rosés.|
|Do you let rosé wine breathe before you serve?||Like wines with a delicate floral bouquet, rosé wines do not need to be aerated. You can simply open and serve right away.|
|How to store and save used rosé wine after you open it?||White and rose wines can be stored in your refrigerator 5-7 days. If you are storing a cork bottle, make sure it is lying flat, exposing the wine to the cork. Day-old wine will never be the same as the first day you opened it. You will start tasting the difference as the wine starts to oxidize.|
Now that you know the wonderful attributes of rosé wine, head to your favorite local wine shop and try a bottle or two. Before you go, make sure you've signed up for Grand Reserve Rewards—you'll earn rewards points on every purchase at wineries, wine clubs, and wine stores.