French: Rosé, Spanish: Rosado Italy: Rosato.
Who doesn’t like a good rosé?
How is Rosé made?
Rosé’s can be made in a couple of different ways. I have read so many different and contradictory things on how Rosé is produced that I decided just to add some of the definitions from what I researched. I am definitely not a wine producer so let’s just have some fun with this. In life, things don’t actually have to be so complex unless you are really the wine producer.
A simple rule is that rosé’s normally get their reddish tone from the skin of a red grape. The process in which the wine is extracted is where some differences lie.
Rose’s are generally produced through a skin-contact method. Normally the dark grapes are crushed with the skins in contact for a short period of time. The longer the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color. Some processes for extracting the color are the following:
Bleeding – is one of the best methods to use for a quality rose. The juice is obtained through stacking the grapes in a tank and using the weight of the grape to crush the grapes. The juice comes in contact with the grape skin for a short period of time allowing for that subtle red tinge to the wine. This method produces a very light colored rose. Rose’s produced by this method are said to have a fruity, fresh and very rich taste to them.
Limited Maceration – The skins of the grapes are left in contact with the juice until the winemaker has decided that they are happy with the color of the wine. Generally this is the most common used technique for producing rose. Probably close to the Bleeding effect.
Quick Note: To macerate is to soften by soaking, and maceration is the process by which the red wine receives its red color. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maceration_%28wine%29 in Rose, maceration is allowed between the must and the stems in a limited fashion as to attain the color most desired.
Blending – Yes, I will list this method, although I truly hope I never have to drink or encounter someone who drinks this type of wine. This process is the simple mixing of red and white wine to impart the color. It is uncommon and discouraged in most wine growing regions. In France it is forbidden by law except for the production of Champagne.
Range of color
The tinge of a rose wine can range from a pale light pink “onion skin” to a dark red almost bright purple tone depending on the wine variety and technique used to make the wine.
In Provence the main colors are:
Melon or Cantaloupe Color
Are you a sweetie?
Rosé’s range from sparkling, to sweet and dry. It all depends again on the grape varietal and technique adopted to make the wine. Normally Old World Rose (generally produced in Europe) will tend to be on the dry side while New World rosé’s (everywhere else) will be less dry to almost sweet. Obviously this is the norm but doesn’t mean there are exceptions to the rule. You might fine some very European style wines in California and some sweeter, high sugar wines from Europe. This is just a little helper for when you are out looking for a good rosé and don’t know where to start.
Rosé’s are normally well priced. You can find some very decent, respectable ones for under $15.00 at places like Trader Joes, Total Wine and maybe even Costco. There is also a nice range of $15-25 ones that are very smooth and delicious to have with this warm summer weather we are having right now in Southern California. I personally enjoy a nice rosé from Provence with a pale light color and hints of Grapefruit and hibiscus.
Some of the common tastes/flavors known to rosé’s are: Grapefruit, Strawberry, Hibiscus, Rose Petal, Cherry, Mint, Dark pepper jam, Black pepper, Bell Pepper
- Garnacha Rose
- Cotes du Rhone Rose
- Provence Rose
- Sangiovese Rose
- Mourvedre Rose
- Pinot Noir Rose
Cool Room Temperature (53-63 °F / 12-19 °C)
Food Pairing Affinities
Spicey Dishes, Fried Chicken, Mexican Food, Roast Pork, Middle Eastern dishes but really just about anything goes well with a Rose. Rose is one of my favorite Spring & Summer Wines.
Here are just a couple from Paso that I have enjoyed recently.
Halter Ranch, a California wine from Paso Robles, have a lovely rose at a decent price.
Halter Ranch Halter Ranch Rose
- Price: $21.00
- 71% Grenache
7% Picpoul Blanc
- De-stemmed and lightly crushed with 24 hours of skin contact, then pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks; three tanks of Rosé were blended in different proportions after fermentation to create the final cuvée.
- Aged 2 months in a stainless steel tank; no oak barrel aging.
2016 The Law Rose, The Law Estate Wines
Normally in May in Southern California you don’t have the overcast, chilly days but lately the weather here has been so crazy you never know what to expect. This morning, before our long hike, I decided to make my Yummy Dragon Chili and put it the crock pot before leaving. The hike was great but I came home and had no idea what wine to pair with my chili. After a 10 mile hike, I knew I deserved something yummy and delicious that had just a little spice and structure to hit me exactly where I wanted it to. So, what to do? Google It? Go with my gut? Open the cooler, close my eyes, and pick? So there I was in the middle of what could only be defined as a genuine wine dilemma….GSM, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rose or a Pinot Grigio.
Now I love wine and have been learning a great deal but I am nowhere near a sommelier standing and find myself having to research to avoid doing what every wine and food lover hates…..POOR PAIRING!!! Yes, I said it! So while I thought a structured, tannic red would be great (I think that’s just because I love structured, bold flavors) I learned that I need to lean toward the lighter reds: Syrah, GSM, Zin or possibly even a nice Rose or white. Its chilly out so a white or Rose is less appealing. I know a beer is the best option but it doesn’t say relaxation and doesn’t comfort me like a nice red so I am leaning toward a GSM from Paso.
We finally decided between a Pinot Noir 2013 from Adelaida in Paso Robles, Tres Violet 2012 from Calcareous, or a Syrah Clone#1 from Beckman Vineyards. All stand up wine but we went with the Pinot Noir from Adelaida. Happy Saturday!
Recently we began our journey to the centrally located, beautiful town of Paso Robles, California. On our first visit ever we were recommended by the Marriott hotel to visit the Calcareous vineyard in the heart of Paso Robles.
After two very disappointing tastings, one at a renowned vineyard and another one at a very small vineyard, we decided to follow our local recommendations. Driving through the windy, picturesque roads of the countryside was peaceful and comforting and we finally made it to our destination.
The views are amazing and the tasting room has huge windows opening to its vineyard overlooking the Paso countryside. Outdoor tables are available for drinking and picnicking for all visitors.
After going through the tasting menu we immediately decided to become club members. Some of our favorite picks are:
- 2012 Tres Violets – GSM (an acronym you will soon get very familiar with in Paso which means Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre) this one with Syrah leading in percentage.
- 2013 Grenache and 2013 Grenache Blanc
- York Mountain 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Twisted Paso – Main squeeze & Matriarch Red Blend (found locally at total wine but a great find if you can’t get to Paso)
We are waiting to try the Moose and the Lloyd but we are confident this vineyard won’t let us down. The Pinot Noir’s are tasty as well. Obviously we lean toward our reds but the whites are impressive as well.
We’ve been back already 3 times in the last year and never miss this stop on our trips.
Great staff, great story, great vineyard!