There’s no doubt that if you’re a wine drinker at all, you’ve come across a Rosé (or several) as you perused a restaurant menu. You’ve probably even marveled at its beautiful jewel-toned pink hues while leisurely shopping for your favorite Merlot or Chardonnay.
Despite seeing it everywhere you maybe haven’t branched out from your other tried and true varieties and tried one yet. We know it can be intimidating to try a new wine if you’re used to certain flavor profiles and vintages, and Rosé is a wine that doesn’t look quite like the others.
It’s not a white wine and not a red wine, so many people aren’t quite sure what to expect. In past years it has also been confused with pink or blush zinfandel and thought of as a cheaper, less quality wine. However, that is not the case at all and Rosé is definitely something to be appreciated and enjoyed by even the most well-seasoned palettes. Here you will learn about the flavor profile of Rosé wine and how to choose the best one for your preferences and individual tastes.
What Does Rosé Wine Taste Like?
If you’re looking for a wine with a little more substance than a white wine but not quite as strong and dark as a red wine, Rosé is the perfect choice. Rosé is made from red grapes, but its flavor is much lighter and fruitier than many of the traditional reds. It is crisp and fresh tasting and should be served well-chilled, which is why it is often so popular in the summer months (although it is great all year long). It typically has the flavors of red fruit (like strawberries and raspberries), citrus, flowers, and melon which contribute to its “summer-like” taste. The exact taste of the wine, however, will depend on the grape that is used and the region in which it is grown. Because of these nuances, there are many varieties.
Rosé comes in sweet or dry varieties and can be sparkling or flat. It also varies in the shade of its color from bright pink to salmon to deep ruby. The sweetness, dryness, and color depend on the type of Rosé that it is, the region it is from, and how it was made. This wide variety of options means that the Rosé category provides enough diversity that almost every type of wine drinker can find one that they enjoy.
Keep in mind when buying and storing Rosé that even though it is made with red grapes (primarily Pinot Noir, Grenache or Syrah, and Cinsault), it should not be aged in the bottle for long periods of time like red wine and has its best flavor when it is consumed young and in the current vintage. Therefore, it is not recommended that wine enthusiasts hold onto these bottles for extended periods of time in a wine cellar.
To ensure the best taste of your Rosé, do not decant it before serving as the flavors come out more when you let it oxygenate. Also, although it is best served chilled, refrain from adding ice cubes to the glass, as it will water it down and alter the flavor profile. The preferred method of chilling is to refrigerate it for several hours.
What Food Pairs Well With Rosé Wine?
You will enjoy Rosé wines with a variety of different cuisines. Drier Rosés that are on the lighter side typically pair quite well with seafood, salads, and green vegetables, whereas ones that are more medium-bodied and fruitier pair well with all of those options and also with chicken, lamb, pork, and various types of mild cheeses. You will want to drink the sweet Rosés with rich and decadent desserts and save sparkling ones for party drinking or with cakes, muffins, and fruit tarts (aka the times you would drink champagne). Pretty much there is a Rosé wine that will go with nearly every type of fare making it an enjoyable choice for any meal.
Additionally, Rosé is a very popular wine for Thanksgiving Dinner and it goes exceptionally well with turkey and the other fall flavors that typically accompany it, such as sweet potatoes, cinnamon, squash, and pumpkin. It is a less heavy alternative to red wine for this hearty holiday meal.
How Is Rosé Wine Made?
You will find Rosé made in every region around the world that produces wines. They are made by leaving the juice from red grapes in the tank alongside the grape skins for a period of time. The length of time typically varies from a few hours to a few days and the longer that they remain in the tank, the more full-bodied the wine will be (and also the deeper the color). Once the winemaker is happy with the color of the wine, the grape skins are removed from the tank and the wine completes its fermentation without the skins. Because the juice of the grape has less contact with the skin than red wine does, it is not as dark in color as traditional reds even though it is made with many of the same grape varieties.
Why Is Rosé Wine So Popular?
Rosé wine is definitely having a moment right now and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. It is a refreshing wine to drink poolside or on a hot day because the more chilled it is, the better it tastes. It also has a low to medium level of alcohol and a taste that almost anyone can enjoy because it is not too heavy or too light. Since it is made from red grapes, Rosé wine provides many of the same health benefits as a glass of red wine and provides more antioxidants than a glass of white wine, and is good for cardiovascular health. It is also a relatively moderately priced wine and one can expect to find a really good bottle of Rosé for about $20-$25 (the exception being certain Rosé Champagnes), whereas a good red wine will generally cost much more. In recent years it has even had its own catchphrase coined (“Rosé all day!”) and has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon.
Do Men Drink Rosé Wine?
Of course they do! They would be missing out if they didn’t. Despite its pinkish color, Rosé is not just a wine for the ladies and that would be an outdated notion to think so. The flavor profile of Rosé appeals to everyone and because so many well-known winemakers are making exceptional bottles of this in-demand favorite, no one will bat an eye when anyone (either male or female) orders a glass.
What Is The Best Type Of Glass To Serve Rosé?
You can serve a young Rosé wine in a standard white wine glass, but they are best served in a glass that has a flared (tulip-shaped) lip. This design lets the wine run out of the glass right onto the tip of the tongue where your tastebuds are the most sensitive to the sweet flavor. A long-stemmed glass is not required but preferred to get the most enjoyment out of drinking your Rosé.
If you are serving a sparkling Rosé or Rosé Champagne, you can serve it in a tulip-shaped glass as well, as this shape of glass holds the wine bubbles in longer. If you are planning on toasting with it, a traditional champagne flute will showcase it perfectly for the occasion. This glass won’t keep the bubbles in as long but holds a smaller serving, so it should not be a problem. If the Rosé that you are serving is a more mature blend, you should opt for a shorter and wider bowl-shaped glass to better enjoy the flavor or the dark fruits.
How Should I Choose The Rosé Wine That Is Best For Me?
As you try different types and brands of Rosé wines, you will surely find a few that quickly become your favorites. If you are looking for a starting point, you should consider the types of wines that you normally gravitate towards and start with the Rosé closest to that profile. If you’re typically a red wine drinker, you may want to opt for a Rosé that has a darker hue, as these varieties allow you to pick up more of the dark fruit aromas with your nose. On a similar note, white wine drinkers should go for a lighter-hued variety, as these tend to have more hints of brighter fruits like strawberry and peach. Of course, if you’re purchasing a Rosé for a special occasion or celebration, you can’t go wrong with a sparkling or champagne variety. Choose this option also based on your preference. For example, if you typically enjoy a glass of drier champagne, choose a very dry sparkling Rosé and vice versa.
Hopefully the next time you’re in the mood for a glass of wine, you are ready to go out and try Rosé. After just a few sips you are bound to see why it has taken the world by storm and gained such a cult following. There is truly a Rosé for every meal and every occasion and we hope that you have fun trying them all!