Know Your Rosés
As temperatures rise, drinking preferences tend to turn to wines that are refreshing and light on the palate and for many, that means rosé. In the United States, the popularity of rosé has grown exponentially in the last five years, overcoming its lingering perception as a two note wine – cheap and cheerful.
Rosés range in style from light and quaffable to full-bodied and substantial, from still to sparkling, and from bone dry to mildly sweet – there's a bottle of pink suitable for every occasion and preference. Even Ernest Hemingway had a favorite style of rosé, which means there’s one out there for you too.
The Path to Pink is Red
Any red grape can be used to make rosé, either as a single variety or in a blend, and nearly every wine-producing region produces at least one. Production methods vary, but rosé is usually made in one of the following four ways:
=> Skin Maceration: By far the most common way of producing quality rosé, the grapes are crushed and allowed remain in contact with the skins for a short period of time. This can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days, as opposed to the weeks or months of maceration time for red wine. A variety of styles are made from this method and when the juice is pressed from the skins, the color can range from just a hint of pink to darker strawberry and cherry hues.
=> Direct Pressing: The grapes are crushed and then the juice is pressed right away, keeping skin contact very brief. This method tends to produce the lightest rosés with just a hint of color, highlighting citrus and strawberry notes. This method is also referred to as vin gris or grey wine.
=> Saignée: Originally a way to make more concentrated red wines in this method, producers “bleed off” juice from the macerating skins within the first few hours. The diverted juice is fermented separately, and can yield a richer style of rosé.
=> Blending: Although not common, blending is literally adding red wine to a vat of white wine. This method is generally not an indicator of quality, with the exception of rosé Champagne, which is most often a blend of red and white base wines. Champagne is the only rosé in the EU that can be made this way.
There are many theories about how to tell if a rosé is sweet, either by color, grape, or the region where the wine is produced. But any wine can be made sweet by stopping fermentation before all of the grape sugars have converted to alcohol.
If the label or producer notes don't indicate if the wine is dry (sec) or sweet (half-dry/demi-sec), inquire with your friendly neighborhood retailer for the scoop on what’s inside.
There’s a Shade of Pink for Everyone
Whether dry or sweet, a rosé’s flavor profile will reflect the characteristics of the grape(s) and how long the juice was in contact with the skins. Several regions are known for their distinct rosé styles.
Provençal rosés are famous for their pale pink color and crisp, fruity style, typically from a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, and sometimes Mourvèdre. As if in defiance of this characterization, rosés from Provence's Bandol appellation, made primarily from Mourvèdre, are full-bodied, with a delightful spicy and earthy character.
In the Rhône, aromatic cherry and strawberry elements from Grenache tend to dominate, sometimes laced with a subtle streak of dried herbs for a more savory character. Colors range from watermelon to fuchsia.
The Rhône is also home to Tavel, the first and only designated appellation for rosé in France (and Hemingway’s favorite). Deep pink and concentrated in flavor, Tavel drinks more like a light and delicate red wine than a typical rosé due to longer time on the skins. Ripe red fruit, spicy tannins, and a subtle earthiness gives this wine versatility and even aging potential, for those who like to wait.
In the Loire Valley, the bright red cherry flavors of Pinot Noir made in a crisp and mineral style are hallmarks of a typical rosé from Sancerre and the Coteaux du Giennois. Red currants and a bit of spice are calling cards for Cabernet Franc-based rosés from Touraine.
The Languedoc produces the most rosé in France by volume, often from blends of the region’s primary red grapes, such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan. These rosés are juicy and sun-kissed, distinguished by ripe red fruits and refreshing acidity.
Moving over to Italy, Rosato is made from Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Aglianico, and Cannonau for wines that are full of bright red fruited flavor and racy acidity. Perfect for pairing with any tomato-based dish or to enjoy with cured meats.
Not Just a Summertime Sipper
Although most often associated with summer, rosés are really trans-seasonal, thanks to high levels of acidity, fruit-forwardness, and structure without drying tannins. Rosé can be paired with nearly every type of food, from spicy Asian to classic seafood dishes, and everything in between.
Shop Weygandt Rosés
- Clément et Florian Berthier Coteaux du Giennois Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
- Clément et Florian Berthier L’Instant Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
- Clément et Florian Berthier Sancerre Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
- Gérard et Pierre Morin Sancerre Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
- Marc Plouzeau Rive Gauche Chinon Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
- Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
- La Bastide Blanche Bandol Rosé (Provence, France)
- Domaine les Fouques Cuvée de L'Aubigue Rosé (Provence, France)
- Domaine Les Aphillanthes (Rhône Valley, France)
- Domaine Charvin Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé (Rhône Valley France)
- Vignoble Alain Ignace Muscat de Beaumes de Venise Rosé (Rhône Valley, France)
- Domaine Les Grands Bois (Rhône Valley, France)
- Chateau de Manissy Tavel Cuvée des Lys Rosé (Rhône Valley, France)
- Domaine Saint-Damien Rosé (Rhône Valley, France)
- Font Mars (Languedoc, France)
- Domaine des Cassagnoles Rosé (Côtes de Gascogne, France)
- Manzone Vino Rosato (Piedmont, Italy)
- Markowitsch Carnuntum Rosé (Carnuntum, Austria)
- Soellner Dani Rosé (Wagram, Austria)
- Winzerin Wiederstein Rosa (Carnuntum, Austria)
- Marc Plouzeau Perle Sauvage Sparkling Brut Nature Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
- Domaine Desire Petit Cremant du Jura Rosé (Jura, France)
- Sadi Malot Rosé Brut Nature (Champagne, France)
- Champagne Serge Gallois Rosé NV (Champagne, France)