50 Shades of Pink

Rosé on ice

Rosé on ice

When it comes to wine, we generally think of two colours: white and red.

But you may have noticedanother colour has recently entered the wine drinkers’ vocabulary. Pink! 

Around the globe, wine lovers are taking rosé wine more seriously. It’s safe to say that the pink drink is no longer the wine that people love to hate.  Even tough guys have been spotted holding a glass of pink stuff!

I’d even argue that rosé has become among the most “fashionable” wines in today’s market.

I love rosé.  For me, rosé means summer.  And even in the dead of winter, sipping a glass of rosé will remind me of those languorous, sultry summer evenings.

The fabulous colour of Tavel

The fabulous colour of Tavel

While rosé can be made anywhere, the South of France is the heart and soul of rosé wine wine production.  Two great regions are Provence and the Southern RhoneBut don’t stop in the south. The Loire Valley also makes delicious fruity rosé and the Champagne region makes rosé Champagne – not to be missed!

If you’ve wondered how rosé gets its colour, it’s not as simple as mixing a little bit of white wine with a little bit of red. In France, except in Champagne, it is illegal to blend red and white wine to make rosé.

Rosés are generally produced with a blend of red grapes – Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre in the south; Cabernet Franc in the Loire; and Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in Champagne.  The pink hue comes from the skins. The grapes are pressed, and the juice and skins live together for a short period of time before the skins are removed.  The length of contact between the skins and the juice dictates how dark or light your rosé will be. As a result, rosé wines cover the pink-colour spectrum, from the pale orangey-pink of Provence to the deep pink of Tavel. 

Rosé and charcuterie

Rosé and charcuterie

Unlike the overtly sweet “blush” wines that have been popular in North America – White Zinfandel anyone? – French rosés are dry.  And dry means they are terrific food wines.  Try a rosé with a Salade Niçoise, or a fish stew like Bouillabaisse.  Or have a glass with a charcuterie plate and some olives!

These wines are meant to be consumed young, so head out to your local wine store, buy yourself a bottle and enjoy!

Cheers, Michelle

 

 

[Image Credits:  Thaths, Chez LoulouMark Finch]