How To Find the Right Rosé Wine For You
Our rosé relationship seems to be ever-changing throughout the years. This style of wine is in poll position this year, but we know there are people out there who just aren’t convinced by the pink. We’re here to show you how to fall in love with pink wine in all it’s glory, with our five point guide on how to find the right rosé for YOU.
50 SHADES OF ROSÉ
Now, here’s where things turn a little red and white. Should you ever decide to go through the laborious experience of peeling grapes, you’ll know that both red and white grapes are the same colour on the inside. So, to make rosé wine, we need some red grapes, which are pressed with their skins on to extract all the juice and flavour, and to extract a beautiful pink hue from the grape skins. This juice is then fermented to become wine, and is how rosé obtains its colour.
But what does the shade of rosé tell you about its flavour? Most people assume that the pinker the wine the sweeter the wine, but this isn’t necessarily true. The paler the rosé, the less contact it’s had with the red grape skins as mentioned above, therefore, it’ll be softer and less tannic. Paler rosés usually have more exotic and citrus flavours too. The more vibrant the colour, the more powerful the flavour and more full bodied the wine will be. Darker rosés tend to have more strawberry and blackcurrant flavour too.
One final tip – if your rosé is looking a little dull, it’s not going to taste all that fabulous. Hold your bottle up to some light and check for vibrancy and brightness and you’ll know you’re onto a winner.
Try a couple back to back to get to grips with all these shades…
Pale pink: Chateau de Berne, Provence. Romance.
Bright pink: Chateau de Berne, Provence. Grand Récolte Ida.
THE ALL IMPORTANT GRAPES AND PLACE OF ORIGIN
Your love of a grape variety won’t always transfer across wine types. For example, you might love a red zinfandel, but using zinfandel in rosé production can often lead to a pretty heavy and sweet wine which might not be your cup of tea. So my first tip is to treat rosé as its own category of wine for you to venture into.
Red grapes love the sunshine. It brings out all the fruity flavours they have to offer, so it’s important to bring place of origin into the mix. Provence is THE place for good quality rosés because the climate is just perfect for making dry and fruity rosé wine. If you head across the pond to where the sun really shines, you’ll find much sweeter and more powerful rosés in the States.
So if you’re after something dry and fruity, choose Granache, Syrah or Cab Savs from Provence. If you’re looking for something sweet and powerful, choose Muscat, Merlot or Zinfandel from California.
Our favourite example of Provence rosé? It has to be Ultimate Provence: the perfect blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle (Vermentino).
THE AGE OF ROSÉ
This IS the dawning of the age of rosé, but we’re talking about the age of the wine here. Most wine drinkers follow the simple rule when picking their poison: the older the better. Now this is a pretty big generalisation, and is often true for rosé’s cousin red, but when it comes to pink wine this rule does a 180’ – the younger the better.
Why you ask? Well, the best rosés are light, floral and fruity, and all of these qualities are obtained the moment the wine is made, and will fade over time.
Check out this fresh from the vineyard beauty:
ROSÉ’S BOOZE APPEAL
If you’re like me and like to get some bang for your buck, then you’ll be no stranger to choosing your wine by a simple, yet oh so effective metric: price vs alcohol content.
The reality here is that alcohol content is really a misunderstood element when it comes to finding wines that you’ll love to drink. Do not be fooled into thinking that more alcohol = better quality. In fact, some wines I’ve come across go so overboard that the alcohol completely destroys the balance of wine. So, follow this simple rule and you’ll be onto a winner: rosés up to the 12% mark are best served chilled and on their own as aperitifs, but when it comes to choosing a wine to go with a meal go for something a little higher, up to 14%, so that it’ll both compliment your food and stand out.
Try these wines back to back to really understand the difference:
PAYING THE PRICE
We all know the phrase you get what you pay for, but spending more on a wine doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting better quality. There are so many factors at play when it comes to a wine’s price: is this wine mass produced? How far has it had to travel to get to your table? What does the bottle look like? Is it sustainably and organically produced? All of these factors and a whole heap more can influence the price of wine.
It should go without saying that wine is a personal choice, and you can get so much more enjoyment out of a £10 bottle as you can a £50 bottle if you know what you like.
If you’re looking for something that’ll impress your guests without breaking your bank then go for a light Provence rosé that looks beautiful, for example Ultimate Provence. If you’re after something more easy drinking but just as delicious why not try the Chateau de Berne Inspiration.
OUR TOP FIVE TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE ROSÉ OF YOUR DREAMS
We are on a mission to get the UK drinking what they love. Follow these five simple rules and you can rosé all day at ease.
VINTAGE: the younger the better
ALCOHOL CONTENT: up to 12% for aperitif, and 12% + for food pairing
COLOUR: pale = softer wine with more exotic fruit, bright = full bodied and powerful with more red fruits
GRAPE VARIETIES: this is down to YOU. Look for fruity and dry rosés from Provence, and rich and sweeter rosés from the States
PRICE POINT: this is down to the occasion, try a few and decide what’s right for you; but remember; expensive doesn’t always equal quality
LOVE WHAT YOU DRINK
The Wine Caverns Team