Rosé wine does not always have the reputation it deserves. Often misunderstood, it is nevertheless not sidelined in the world of wine, and still represents 23% of wine purchases in France. But, unless you are a great wine lover, rose wine remains rather unknown, and many people still have prejudices or bad knowledge about it. So let's lift the veil on rosé wine, this mysterious wine.
ROSE WINE: BETWEEN MYTH AND REALITY
Rosé wine is the subject of much discussion. Faced with the imposing red and white wines, rosé wines suffer from several myths, which do not necessarily work in their favour.
A mixture of white and red wine
The first preconceived idea about rosé wine concerns its composition. Many people think that it is made from a more or less subtle mixture of red and white wine. This myth stems mainly from the pale pink colour we know. In reality, making rosé wine is much more complex than that, and the technique of making rosé wine follows a scrupulous process.
Rosé wine is made by fermenting black grapes, and the intensity of its pink colour will depend on the length of time the skin pigments are in contact with the juice. Rosé wine, like white and red wine, is therefore the result of its own wineification technique, which follows precise rules.
A rose wine that has to be sweet
The second misconception about rosé wine is its sugar content. Rosé wine has a reputation for being high in sugar, and many unsuspecting consumers believe that it cannot be otherwise. However, there is a wide variety of rosé wines, and many of them are dry and lively. This is particularly true of rosé wines from Provence, which is considered typical, as this region is the birthplace of rosé wine.
Other myths about rosé wine circulate, notably the fact that it is more often aimed at women, or that it is only good for an aperitif. All these preconceived ideas are obviously false, and rosé wine can be served at any table, and is suitable for all tastes.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROSE, RED AND WHITE WINES
As you will have understood, the colour of rosé wine does not come from a simple mixture of red and white wine. Remember that the blending of these two wines is prohibited, and only rosé Champagne is an exception to this legislation.
The difference between a rosé wine and other wines is therefore the fermentation technique. A rosé wine obtains its colour thanks to a very controlled fermentation time, where the must is in contact with the pigments of the red skin of the grape. While a red wine ferments for several days to obtain its beautiful red colour, a rosé wine only ferments for a few hours.
There is also a difference between red, white and rosé wine: the method used. While red and white wine can only be made using one and the same method, rosé wine can be made using two different winemaking techniques: direct pressing, or skin maceration. A rosé wine can also be made by bleeding, by taking some of the grape juice from a red wine cuvée during maceration.
THE VARIETY OF AROMAS AND SMELLS OF ROSE WINE
There is no single rosé wine, but a multitude of varieties, each as different as the next. This can already be seen in the colour of the rosé wine. The range of colours is very wide, and there are light and darker rosé wines. From peach to redcurrant to mango, the colours of rosé wine are as varied as its aromas and smells.
Speaking of aromas and smells, each of them usually has a different origin. Thus, the variation in aromas may depend on :
- Grape varieties: we obtain aromas of melon, peach or apricot, but also aromas of rose, acacia, or orange blossom, all of which are accentuated by direct pressing;
- Grapes: depending on the variety, we obtain aromas of cherry, redcurrant, stdryberry, raspberry and all the red fruits in general, but also aromas of pineapple, passion fruit, litchi, and other exotic fruits. They will all be accentuated by a wineification by pellicular maceration;
- Fermentation: depending on the technique used, you may get banana, marshmallow or stdryberry flavours;
- From the wineification and maturation: one can obtain aromas of pepper, vanilla, liquorice, cinnamon, or many other spices.
Did you have any preconceptions about rosé wine? Far from being left behind on French tables, rosé wine has the ability to adapt to all dishes. Let yourself be tempted by a Château de Berneand see all the misconceptions about rosé wine go out the window.