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Embracing the Variety of Rosé

As we head into summer, one of the great wine categories of the world takes center stage: Rosé. With it’s fun pink hue and fruity, flowery flavors, rosé wine finds the spotlight in warmer months. And while many people may have had their first exposure to this wine with a sweet blush version, rosés can fall into a wide variety of flavors and styles. Read on to learn more about the basics of this pretty-in-pink wine category.

Producing Rosé

France leads the world in rosé production followed by Spain and the United States. The grapes traditionally used for rosé wines include everything from Pinot Noir and Grenache to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. With a few exceptions, these grapes tend to have clear juice, and the wines made with them gain their red hue from contact with the grapes’ skin during fermentation. (Fun fact: Grape juice is colored the same way!) The longer the grapes have skin-contact with the liquid, the more saturated the colors become. In order to get the trendy pink color, Rosé wines can be made in the following ways:

  1. The highest quality rosé wines are red grapes grown specifically for the purpose of making pink wine. They are then made into wine using the ‘direct press method’ This process removes the liquid from the grape skins after a very short amount of time, producing some of the lightest colored rosés as compared to other methods. The famous rosé wines of Provence are made using this process.
  2. Another way to make a rosé is to drain off some of the liquid during red wine fermentation. Not only does this result in a bright pink rosé, it also allows for a more robust and concentrated red wine due to the increased ratio of grape skins to fermenting liquid after draining. This process is known as the ‘saignée method’ and is a common way wineries known for their red wine production make rosé.
  3. More commonly used to produce sparkling rosé wine, the “blending method” adds a small portion of red wine to white wine to produce the desired color.

Types of Rosé

Typically, rosé wines tend to fall into three categories: dry, sweet and sparkling. Dry rosés typically come from old-world vineyards, like those in France, and have a bright acidity that pair well with grilled meats, seafood pastas and fresh salads. Sweet wines are typically produced in America and usually come in bright pink and have fruit-forward flavors. Try a sweeter rosé with smoky or spicy meats, rich sauces and fatty fish. Sparkling wines more commonly include flavors of red fruit, cherries, citrus, and white flowers, and can be either dry or sweet. Sparking rosé also pairs well with all kinds of foods, from a simple light salad to a hearty BBQ meal. With so many different regions and flavors, rosé pairing options are endless!

Empire represents many delicious brands throughout our network including Whispering Angel from Provence, France, which is a very popular brand carried in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Yes Way is represented in Georgia, Tennessee and Colorado. House Wine and Surely is available in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Colorado. JNSQ and Luc Belaire can be found in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee.

Variety is the spice of life, so be sure to explore all the different ways rosé can be made: there are so many fun and delicious wines to try in this ever-growing category.

Ready to find a Rosé your customers will love?
Click the button below to visit Empire’s online portfolio!*


*Please note: Linked products are subject to market availability and pricing. Contact your sales rep for more distributor information about these items.

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