A fantastic rosé guide - what to look for, what to serve with it, when to drink it and more
How is rosé made?
Rosé production methods differ depending on the winemaker. It’s safe to say that rosé’s reputation as a fun, frivolous wine belies the actually rather difficult winemaking technique that goes into producing a good one. In general rosé is made from red varietals. Four different methods prevail: bleeding, pressing, limited maceration, and run-off. Bleeding sees the grapes stacked and the resulting weight does the job of crushing. There’s very little contact with the skin, so these roses tend to be pale in colour. Pressing has the grapes pressed until the desired colour is obtained. Limited maceration is where the winemaker allows the skin-contact with crushed grapes up until he/she is happy with the result. Run-off is more a by-product of red wine production, where juice from a fermenting tank of red wine is used to make rosé.
Old and new:
In the past, old-word rosés tended to be drier than new-world cousins, and super sweet rosés, like the white zinfandel that proliferated in the 1970s, created a rosé hangover that many are reluctant to forgive. But new world rosés are growing up and there are plenty of options for those who prefer to walk on the crisp side: our list below gives some great examples.
What to look for:
Fruity/floral as well as savoury/meaty characteristics can be found in rosé. Overall, a good rosé requires ripe fruit, good acidity and balance, balance, balance.
What to serve with it?
There are endless food matches for charmingly versatile dry rosé. Some of our favourites are with a crisp Waldorf or caesar salad, lightly smoked salmon, a nutty gouda or stinky blue, prosciutto and other charcuterie items.
When to drink?
Right away! Or at least, within 1-3 years. And lightly chilled is perfect, thanks.