Chilled rosés are light, but still flavourful, and are ideal for sipping on a hot day. That’s why more rosé wines are sold during the summer than at any other time of the year.
So you’d think picking up a reasonably priced and tasty bottle of rosé would be easy. Not so. Of the bottles tasted for this column, less than half came up to scratch.
So why are the odds stacked against picking up a good rosé? Because rosés aren’t that easy to make.
Grape juice from white and red grapes is green. Most of a wine’s flavour and colour comes not from the juice, but from the skins of the grapes. Add yeast into a vat of grape juice from a ‘red wine’ grape such as Cabernet Sauvignon and you’ll end up with a white wine. To get a bit of colour into it, red grape skins need to be put into the brew.
The longer they are left in, the more colour and flavour is leached out. For a delicate rose-coloured wine like Rosé D’Anjou the grape skins are left in the wine for just a few hours. Leave the skins in for up to three days and even more of the grape’s colour and flavour will move into the wine – the resulting dark-coloured rosé could be mistaken for a light red.
Too little soaking will result in a flavourless wine while too much can result in ‘off’ aromas. The light strawberry flavours and raspberry aromas of the best rosés are due as much to the skill and judgment of the winemaker as the quality of the grapes.
PG Wine Reviews
Luis Felipe Edwards Chilean Rosé 2013
Lightly fruity with hints of strawberry. Drink too cold and you’d think it was a white.
SPAR Italian Garganega Pinot Grigio Blush
Lemon, redcurrant and bubblegum flavours. Light and easy drinking.
Cleefs’ South African Rosé 2014
More of a light red than a rosé with its strawberry and toasted alond flavour.
Ramón Bilbao Spanish Rioja Rosado 2014
£9.95 Noel Young Wines
More of a white wine with its pear and light apricot flavours.
Viña Real Spanish Rioja Rosado 2014
£9.99 The Wine Reserve (Cobham, Kent)
Aromas of alond cake but it tastes of creamy apple and strawberry.
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© Paula Goddard 2015 www.paulagoddard.com
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