drink :: Guide to Rose Wine

Note from Gillian: During a visit to Napa Valley, I asked the helpful wine salesman for a rosé recommendation. His response was "Are you 16 and drinking with your parents?" I was turned off rosé ever since. I'm so excited that our new contributor, Breanne, will be writing about wine, and even more excited that she's starting by telling us why rosé is a perfectly refined wine to drink. Cheers!

In the wine world, warm weather means it is the perfect time to revisit an old friend, Rosé! (And we are so excited for you to meet her!)

Don’t let her pale pink hue fool you; this lady is sophisticated, confident and more complex than you think. She is the perfect companion to Surf n’ Turf, burgers, picnic salads, and even Mexican. Why? Rosé is the perfect middle ground between bold reds and fragile whites. Thus, it has the body to hold up to something like a burger, yet is delicate enough to match seafood or a salad.

Rosé is made with the same grapes as red wine, except the grape skins are removed from the juice early on in the maceration period – anywhere between 3 and 36 hours of contact time. Longer contact time with the skins will make a darker hued and bigger bodied Rosé. Some people like to think that rosé is made by simply mixing red and white wine – a technique that is not only frowned upon but is actually illegal in most of France!

Sweet and over-commercialized white Zinfandel flooded the market for a few years and gave Rosé a bad name. The positive side to this situation is that you can now find incredible value in Rosés from all around the world. You can buy a brilliant Rosé for $15 without searching too hard. French Rosés from the Provence region are considered the gems, but those from Spain, Italy, and Portugal are definitely worth trying at your next patio event. Here's a handy cheat sheet for some quick facts and pairing ideas (download one to print too). 

*indicates the flavours and pairings for Zinfandel (a bit sweeter than the other grapes)

*indicates the flavours and pairings for Zinfandel (a bit sweeter than the other grapes)