How rosé wine is made

How rosé wine is made and eight to try for summer

The Raise a Glass feature is published in several UK regional newspapers …  I explain how rosé wine is made and share a handful of pinks for summer sunshine vibes.

It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a glass of rosé wine: And the choice is immense.

Just the combination of colours is so diverse. 

It’s a bit like one of those sample paint palettes you pick up from a decorating shop. 

You only have to stand in front of any rosé wine shelf and your eyes will stray across a myriad of different hues. 

The majority of rosé wine is made by the skins of black grapes sitting in contact with the juice.

The pink hues can range across baby-plush pink, salmon and onion-skin colours to a deep lush cerise.

This depends on how long the skin contact lasts, and which grape varieties are used.

In most cases, it’s not about mixing red and white wines to create a pink colour. In the champagne region however, pink champagne can be made that way.  

Sometimes a rosé is a by-product of red wine production.

Black grape skins stay in contact with the juice through and after fermentation for red wine.

Some wine producers take away a little of that juice while it is still pink. This is the starting point of a new rosé wine and it also concentrates the final red wine.

Here’s a selection of eight wines to try:

Babele Rosé 2021
(RRP £8.99 or £7.99 in a mix case of 12, at Laithwaites)

This is one of a new range from Romanian producer Cramele Recas, which is continuing to impress UK palates with good value wines. This is a blend of international varieties merlot, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and syrah, together with the Romanian grape feteasca neagra. I enjoyed a Chinese takeaway; and the wine’s floral, raspberry and quince notes were a great match.  

The Pale Rosé by Sacha Lichine 2021

(RRP £13.99, Waitrose, and Majestic in a buy six deal)

This is a very pretty label, and a very pretty wine.  It’s from the Var region in Provence, where grapes grow close to the Mediterranean coast. The sun makes the grapes ripe with fruit, and the coastal breeze ensures balanced acidity. It is aromatic and fresh, fresh, fresh, with red berry fruits and tangerine peel. 

Ramón Bilbao, Rosado 2021

(RRP £8, Tesco)

The pale pink Rioja rosados found in Ramón Bilbao Head Winemaker Rodolfo Bastida’s home town inspired this wine 10 years ago. Now there’s a new winemaker, Rosana Lisa, leading the way with this wine and the style continues. It’s a blend of 85% garnacha and 15% viura grapes from a long, quality harvest in October 2021. It has a vibrant, mouthwatering woosh of citrus, with notes of pomegranate, cherry, red apple skin,  tangerine and  blossom.  

Myrtia Moschofilero Assyrtiko Rosé 2021

(£10, or £60 for a case of six at Marks & Spencer)

This Greek grape variety is a palate pleaser. It’s a delight, with flavours of citrus, tropical lychee, peachy stone fruit and floral aromas akin to a summer garden. The wine  is zesty and slightly creamy; and very good with chicken kebabs.

Visione Irpinia Rosato

(RRP £20, Strictly Wine, Campania Wines, North & South Wines)

If you think this is a little above your normal budget for a summertime pink, the wine’s classy rippled bottle feels like a special occasion. Feudi di San Gregorio is one of the leading producers in the region, specialising in Campania’s native grape varieties; and here’s one of them, aglianico.  For years this grape famous for red wines was thought to have Greek ancestry, but DNA proved otherwise. Sip this wine and think raspberry, cherry, cranberry and strawberry.

Madame F Rosé

(£9, Sainsbury). 

Now I’ll move to Sainsbury and a special collaboration. For Pride Month in June, the retailer  helped to launch a new wine. Madame F Rosé  is vegan and a blend of grenache and syrah, and created in collaboration with LGBTQ+  charity, Queer Britain.  The charity is working to establish a national LGBTQ+ museum. The wine has vibrant citrus notes, with a ripe, delicate, moreish flavour spectrum of red and black fruits.

Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé

(£15, Sainsbury). 

Crémant is made by the traditional method, the same way that champagne is produced. This bourgogne version uses grape varieties local to the Burgundy region: Pinot noir, chardonnay and gamay.  It’s a salmon pink colour, and nods towards toast, vanilla, lemon, cherry and cranberry.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Blush

(RRP £7, Ocado, and in Nisa stores)

Sauvignon blanc is at the heart of this pale baby-blush pink. The producers have added the colour via a splash of pinot noir.  Classic grapefruit-y sauvignon aromas dominate. The flavours bristle and bustle with tropical fruits and more of that zesty grapefruit.

First published in UK regional newspapers:  See “About ” me

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