I’ve been on a bit of a Rosé kick lately…a kick that has lasted over a year. I rarely stray from this crisp, tart, fresh and oh so clean wine. It is still sometimes hard to find a good Rosé in a restaurant. Perhaps it’s because White Zinfandel is an unmentionable cousin? It’s true. I would hate to be accused of drinking White Zinfandel. Typing the name is hard enough…but why? What is the difference?
The answer is actually quite simple. Both wines are made practically the same way; White Zinfandel is sweeter and pinker than most Rosés. Sutter Home created White Zinfandel by accident in the 1970’s. They were trying to create a deeper Zinfandel and scraped off 500 gallons of the wine that had only been soaking with the skins for a few short days since the grapes had been pressed. They had to do something with the 500 gallons, so they sold it as a White Zinfandel, a name they chose so that it would not be confused as a Rosé. The new wine sold well but it wasn’t until a second “accident” where the the winery experienced a Stuck Fermentation (the yeast died before it could convert all of the sugar to alcohol.) The newest sweet recipe of White Zinfandel was a huge success. It was sweet and cheap and people loved it UNTIL they discovered Rosé on their wine tasting journey.
Rosé is made from red grapes. The winemaker has complete control over the color. It is a misconception that Rosé is made by mixing red and white wine.The pink hue of Rosé is made when the skins of the red grapes touch wine for only a short time (a few hours usually) vs several weeks for red wines. Do you see a similarity with the Sutter Home “mistake”?
If you’d like to give pink wine another chance. Here is how you can find the “good stuff.”
It’s important to know that Rosé is best served within two years of pressing. Since Rosé is rather quick and easy to make, the cost should never be more than $15-$45.
Old World Rosé (Europe) = Dry
New World Rosé (everywhere else) = Less Dry
To me, you can’t go wrong with an Old World Rosé and France makes the best of the best!
My Favorite Rosé Locations:
Provence, France – easy drinking, very light pink hue, aromas of red berries, cherries and fresh roses. Grapes used – Grenache, Cinsaut, and Mourvèdre.
Côtes du Rhône, France – medium bodied, medium pink hue, bright cherry flavors. Grapes used – Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
Rosés are the most food friendly wine made. It can go with practically anything! It’s a great BBQ wine, daytime wine, front porch anytime wine!