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. But how are rosé wines made?
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
Revero Spanish Vino Rosado
£4.99 Tesco (or 3 for £12)
More of a light red with cranberry and light cherry flavours.
Mayu Chilean Carménère Syrah Rosé
£5.50 Asda (Rollback offer from £7)
Simple strawberry flavours.
La Vieille Ferme French Rosé 2013
£5.99 Co-op (down from £7.49 starting 6 Aug)
Aromas of rose petals and grapefruit.
Casillero Del Diablo Chilean Shiraz Rosé
Another light red with bramble and herby flavours.
Black Cottage New Zealand Rosé
A light and crisp rosé made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio
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© Paula Goddard 2014 www.paulagoddard.com