By Stefani Jackenthal
Rose' wines could be the most misunderstood style of wine ever. Are you reading this and frowning - thinking, I don't like rose? Are you a rose' fan? Perhaps, a rose' convert? Ah, rose' a delightful picnic and warm-weather sipper welcome at my dinner table, deck and picnic blanket most any time.
There is a common misconception that rose' wine is syrupy sweet. But rose' wines come in a variety of refreshing styles from bone dry to fruity, sweet and savory. They can be a bolder than white wines, yet more restrained and subtle than red wines made from the same varietal (grape) - showing cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavors. Rose's are typically served chilled and are the perfect picnic, BBQ or dinner partner with everything from surf to turf, spicy Thai, ketchupy burgers and your favorite pizza or sushi.
What's makes rose's such a great and versatile wine food is its natural acidity and the residual tannin from the winemaking process. Most rose' wines are made from the same grapes used to make red wines, such as syrah, pinot noir, malbec and the list goes on. The reason rose' is pink, rather than red is due to the amount of time the juice stays in contact with the grape skin - a process called maceration.
There are several methods to making rose' wine. But, the simplest way to think about rose' wine making is that after the grapes have been de-stemmed and crushed, the winemaker leaves the juice in contact with the skin until it reaches a desired color. The skin is then removed and the winemaking process continues. Lighter wines may macerate for a few hours, resulting in for a pale or light pink rose', while darker wines could be for days or weeks. The longer the solids stay in the tank, the darker the wine.
So, rose' wine may just be your next picnic, party or perfect dinner companion this summer.
Stefani Jackenthal, President of NTS Wine Tasting LLC and author of WANDERLUST WINING, a fun, delicious guide to outdoor activities in wine regions across the USA. She crafts private & corporate wine tastings and teaches wine classes at 92y.org. www.stefjack.com * www.wanderlustwining.com www.facebook.com/wanderlust.wining *Twitter: @stefjackenthal