1) (Almost) Always go for the newest vintage.
Most rosé is best if consumed within two years from release. Most of the time rosé is ready for immediate drinking. That being said, there are some exceptions. Roses containing the mourvèdre grape have incredible aging potential, and are found in many rosé blends from Bandol and Tavel.
2) Rosé is not a new trend.
While rosé may have had a surge in popularity in the United States over the past 10 years, rose is far from a new trend. It’s believed rosé was produced as early as 7000 BC. Compare that longevity with red wine, which is thought to have been introduced around 2500 BC. White wine probably came even later.
3) Rosé is not (usually) made from mixing red and white wine.
In fact, it is very unusual, and in France, even illegal to blend wine to make rosé (the exception to this is in Champagne!) The most common way to make rosé is to crush red grapes and let the juice of the grapes stay in contact with the skins for a short time, anywhere from a few hours to three days. It’s this contact that turns the wine pink-the longer grape juice and skins intermingle, the darker the wine becomes. Rosé can also be made by saignée, or bleeding. If a winery is making red wine, rosé can be a by-product of wine making process, where some of the freshly-pressed juice is siphoned off and then fermented on its own. Saignée results in a wine with more tannins and a darker color, and a more savory flavor profile.
4) Rosé is NOT white zinfandel.
White zinfandel is a relatively new, incredibly sweet creation, first introduced in 1975 by Sutter Home in a fortuitous accident. After bleeding off their big red zinfandels, the remaining juice only partially fermented leaving residual sugar. This wine delivers a sweeter flavor than rosé, and as the name clearly states, is made from Zinfandel grapes. Rosé, which can be made of a variety of red grapes and tends to be very dry. The most common blend of grapes in traditional provencal rose is grenache, syrah and cinsault. Mourvedre is added to blends from Bandol. Many roses are also made from Pinot Noir, especially in the Loire region and California, where the primary grape is Pinot Noir.
5) Rosé can be made anywhere.
From the roses of France, to the rosatos of Italy and rosados of Spain and Portugal, pink wine can be made anywhere. In France, rosé from provence is the most well known and accounts for up to ⅔ of the region’s wine production. Provencal rosé has a uniquely pale color due to the use of a more gentle press. In the United States, Oregon, California, Long Island and other small wine growing areas produce rosé. Many times, the predominant red grape in the growing region is used to make the rose from that region.
Have fun exploring the world of pink wine this summer (and all year round!).
Did you learn anything new about rosé? You can ask us any questions about pink wine here (on our blog,) on Facebook or in the store. We are excited to hear from you! Interested in picking up a case? We also deliver to Montauk, Amagansett, East Hampton, The Springs, Sag Harbor, Wainscott, Watermill, Sagaponack, and Bridgehampton (minimums apply.)