The calendar tells us summertime officially starts on June 21st, but let’s face the facts. If last week’s heat wave, flip flops, and short shorts taught us one thing, it’s that summer (the season we’ve all been craving) is already upon us!
Just like the weather influences how we dress, it also influences what we like to drink. I don’t know about you, but when I think of sunshine my mind drifts to dreams of bubbly, crisp whites, and above all — rosé.
Often when people hear "rosé wine," they think of four things: sweet, fruity, pink, and women. There are so many unfortunate misconceptions about rosé that have kept consumers from reaching for that perfect, beautifully blush bottle on the top shelf. I’m here to tell you that there's much more to rosé than its tutti-frutti reputation alludes to, and most importantly? It’s not just for girls. (Gentlemen, you can thank me later.)
Here are a few things you might not know about rosé:
It doesn’t have to be sweet. In fact, many rosés are bone dry! Pink drinks from Southern France's renowned Provence are always dry, and styles range from easy-drinking and light to fuller, more serious wines. The French stick up their noses at the many myths Americans have grown to believe about rosé, and you should too.
There’s nothing “girly” about it. Hey there, hipster misters! Don’t tell me you can’t try some blush-colored wine. We all know you have at least one item of clothing in your closet that's bright pink (or “salmon,” as you call it). Which leads me to a very interesting and masculine fact about rosé…
You can pair it with meat. While some styles of rosé are light and are better accompaniments to lighter dishes, the fuller, more textured styles of rosé (like those that've undergone a second fermentation — the malolactic fermentation) can be great pairings for dishes like lamb, beef, chicken, and even BBQ!
It can be made from almost any red grape and is made around the world. Cabernet, Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir — you name it! Rosé wine is made from many different grapes, but it's ultimately a product of how it's made. The color in wine is extracted from the grape skins. So for a wine to be lighter in color, the juice will spend less time with its skins. In the most general sense, rosé is made more like a white wine but using red wine grapes.
Pouring some red into your white wine does not make it rosé. (It might, however, ruin the flavor of both wines.) The process of making rosé can be just as meticulous as the process of making an elegant white or a premium red. The main difference is that a rosé is usually released right after it's made instead of being aged, and this makes it ideal for immediate consumption and outright freshness.
Do yourself a solid this summer, and pick up a bottle of rosé to share. Notice how refreshing it can be on a warm day. Notice how well it goes with that chicken you threw on the barbie or how it totally made that salmon dish you prepared last week. It’s versatile, underrated, and most often pleasantly affordable!
About the Author
Katie Delaney is a winemaker by trade, Advanced Sommelier, oenophile and founder of The Rebel Wine Collective. She’s seen the wine industry from two very different sides of the spectrum - one of which involves stilettos, and the other steel-toed boots - but the wealth of knowledge that Enology and Viticulture have to offer is what she loves most about the world of wine. Katie spends her days working with, teaching, and learning from wine fanatics.