Rose wine has recently exploded on the markets all over the world, especially in the warm months of the year. In France, it’s become even more popular than white wine. Rose is perfect for sipping at a backyard barbecue or in the park.
Despite everyone knowing of the wine, only a small fraction knows how a rose is made and where it comes from.
Rose is different from its counterparts. White grapes become white wine and red grapes turn into red wine. Pink grapes, however, don’t exist in nature. So how do winemakers create a beverage of such a lovely pink colour?
The answer is pretty simple, skin contact. The juice that runs out of the fruit is clear. What wine receives its colour from is the skin of the grapes. The colour simply bleeds into the juice, giving the wine its red or yellow colour. This process is called maceration.
Rose winemakers juice red grapes and let the juice soak with skins but only for a very short time, two to three days on average. Once the juice starts taking the gentle pink colour, the skins are promptly removed and the juice is left to ferment, which will soon create an excellent rose.
There is a common misconception stating that rose wines can be made by simply mixing red and white wines. Well, that’s nothing more than a legend, and this process is actually frowned upon by winemakers.
Alright, so where is rose wine made? The biggest rose wine producer in the world currently is France, especially the Provence region of it. After France, there are winemakers from the US, Spain, and Italy that take a big chunk of the market. Lastly, we have countries like Canada, Chile and Australia, that also produce rose.
Rose wines, much like reds and whites, exist at all price points. You can make the wine from essentially any grape and it's often made as a blend of multiple grapes, with the most popular ones being Syrah, Sangiovese, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Mourvedre and Cinsault. Remember, if you like dry wines, go for European rose, and if you like sweet ones, go for a bottle from the New World. While this isn’t always true, it’s a good rule of thumb.
When in doubt, look for something from Provence. Being the motherland of rose, it’s hard to go wrong with their wines. Pale pink and salmon coloured, Provencal roses are often gentle and fruity, with notes of strawberry and raspberry.
Another alternative is Spanish rosados, which are a little bolder and deeper in colour than their neighbours. The best part is that roses are often a bargain, especially when compared to reds. The reason for that is that they are usually young and fairly inexpensive to make. Even when spending no more than $15-$20, you have a ton of excellent options.
If you’d like to try rose wine, buy a bottle of rose at the ZYN liquor store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, or shop online at ZYN.ca!