rosé - if it were a fruit it would be my jam
Anyone who knows me knows I have a love affair with all things rosé -- it is the perfect combination of flavors -- basically, if it were a fruit it would be my jam. People who do not like rosé are either naive and think it is sweet or have an ego problem with the fact that it is pink. Pink is not just for girls it is for everyone.
So WHAT is rosé? Rosé is simply grape juice where they left the RED skins on during fermentation for a short period of time. Grape juice is actually clear (have you ever looked inside a grape? it is clear). Leaving the RED skins on, causes the skins color to bleed into the juice and the longer you let those skins soak in the juice, the darker your rosé gets. Another thing to note, typically, but not always, the longer you leave the tannin filled skins on the more tannins and flavor make themselves at home in the juice. Tannins meaning the grippy stuff in your mouth -- think tea leaves and the way tea tastes.
With that being said, rosé IS NOT SWEET. Sure, it can be if they do not let the yeast consume all the sugar in the wine while it is in the process of turning into alcohol, but it is traditionally NOT SWEET. AGAIN rosé IS NOT SWEET. This whole stigma that rosé is sweet actually stems from Beringer White Zinfandel being pink and sweet along with Stella Rossa and Andres Pink Sparkling. Stella Rossa is actually a sweet moscato -- who knows what Andres even is -- yuck. If you are ever in doubt, just go for a rosé from France. They are typically the driest (dry meaning NOT SWEET).
Rosé can be made from any type of grape (see image below). You can have cabernet rosé, merlot rosé, pinot noir rosé, grenache rosé, syrah rosé, cabernet franc rosé etc etc etc. I find that if you are a red wine drinker and not into whites as much, you most likely will like a rosé made from the varietal of red wine that you normally drink. So, if you are a big pinot noir guy like myself, you most likely will love pinot noir rosés -- AND the most glorious part about this whole rosé thing, is that it is amazing in the summer chilled (actually ALL the time chilled)! So, if you typically drink cabernet sauvignon, and it is 100 degrees out so a big heavy red doesn't quite sound so great -- try a chilled cabernet rosé -- making sense?
Another thing to note when shopping for rosé is the vintage on the bottle aka the year listed on the bottle. Find it, take note of it, and buy anything from 2016 or 2017. DO NOT GO OLDER. Rosé is meant to be drank fresh. It is not meant to be held on to and aged, it is not meant to sit on a grocery store shelf, it is not meant to be drank old. Honestly, by May 1 you should ONLY be drinking 2017 rosé. Don't cheat yourself and go for the discount. There is a reason people will be putting the older vintages/years on clearance.
A side note, I was in Vons and Bev Mo checking things out for my websites 'Grocery Store Finds', and noticed that they both are sitting on A LOT of 2014, 2015 and 2016 rosés. I asked the employee what they were going to do with all the 14' and 15' rosés and he asked me what I meant by that. I then had to go on explaining to him about rosé wines and how they are meant to drink FRESH. He had no idea. Neither store employees had any idea. In fact, when you see rosé with 2014/2015 listed on the bottle that is a huge indicator screaming at your face that the bottle has been sitting on the shelf THAT LONG. Gross.
Another cool aspect of rosé -- you can make cocktails with it. YEP, COCKTAILS! Add a little soda water, mint leaves and fruit -- voilla, spritzer of greatness! Another idea, tequila, rose, agave syrup, fresh lime -- voilla, rosérita. How can you just not LOVE this style of wine?!
I hope you enjoyed this little segment on rosé -- if you have any questions or need suggestions, as always, just ask :) I love helping people fall in love with wine -- especially, if I get to enjoy a glass with you!