If you’ve noticed more than the usual amount of pink wine on shelves and in wine bars recently, you’re not seeing double.
Rosé (say rose-hey) wines began an upward trend several years ago and have been filling glasses across Australian. And what a joy it is to spend time finding one that just suits your palate.
Rosé wine can be made in three different ways and to understand these it to know that the juice of all grapes (bar two that we don’t need to know) is white.
So getting red or pink wine into a bottle requires the winemaker to allow the juice of the crushed grapes to rest on the skins of red grapes. The longer the skin contact, the deeper the colour of the wine. The shorter the maceration time, the less flavour and colour leaches into the wine.
This is a delicate balance to achieve, so don’t go thinking rosé wines are not serious wines. This method is known as saignee – to bleed.
Some winemakers will expediate the winemaking process by adding used red skins to a vat of white wine, or some will simply blend red and white wine together.
The latter methods are not as flavourful, so it’s best to stick with wines that have had some time lying around in a tank turning pink.
Any red grape can be used for making wines in the saignee method. In our cooler climate, quite often the more robust grapes are used, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
Pinot Noir, which is already light in colour, does make a beautiful style rosé too.
Chill well and drink right into the autumn months.