Rosé wines & how they are made

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Nothing is more summery than a glass of chilled Rosé on a warm day.  While many people expect Rosé to be medium-sweet, Rosé is actually made in a range of styles and varying shades of pink.

While it’s often thought that Rosé wines is a blend of red and white, that’s far from the truth. In France, it’s actually illegal (unless you are making Champagne!).  Blending red and white wines is usually carried out in New World countries.

There’s a few different winemaking techniques used.  Any red grape can be used.  The palest-coloured Rosé wines are made by pressing and crushing the grapes lightly, extracting just a little colour from the skins, before discarding them and continuing the fermentation.   This direct pressing method tends to be used for Provence Rosé, which is dry, and tends to be the lightest and priciest of all. 

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Most Rosé wines are made by allowing skin contact for 6-48 hours during fermentation – the longer the contact, the deeper the colour.  The level of sweetness is determined by how long the fermentation continues – if a little grape sugar is left at the end of fermentation, it adds sweetness to the wine.

In Bordeaux, wine is bled from a tank of red wine, in order to concentrate colour in red. This ‘saignée’ method produces a dry Rosé, with medium colour intensity.  

If you like medium-sweet Rosé, look towards California (Blossom Hill, Paul Masson), and France’s Rosé d’Anjou and Cabernet d’Anjou.  These all tend to be lighter in alcohol, around 10%.  Other areas tend to make Rosé on the dry side, and have average weights of alcohol.  

Spanish Rosé (Faustino, Marques de Caceres), and Bordeaux Rosé, tend to be dry.  Aside from California, other New World Rosés are either dry or just off-dry.    Possibly the world’s most famous Rosé, Portugal’s Mateus Rosé, is medium-sweet, as is the lovely Bend in the River Pink.  

Chilled dry Rosé is lovely with seasonal salads and cold dishes, like salads, shellfish, cold salmon or trout, or tapas dishes. Medium-sweet Rosé is fantastic with spicy dishes, like Thai fish cakes, stir-fries, anything with a hint of chili.

At Molloys, we’ve just expanded our selection of Rosé wines, many of which are on offer.

Cabernet d'Anjou  'Les Volières,'  is blissfully medium-sweet, jam-packed with ripe strawberry and cherry flavours.  This would be fantastic with slightly spicy foods.

Signature de L’oire Cabernet D’Anjou

Rosé d'Anjou, Domaine des Irises is beautifully perfumed – floral, red berry fruit, which follows through onto the palate, which has a subtle sweetness. 

Domaine Des Iris Rosé D’Anjou

La Marca Veneto Frizzante Creamy, very fine bubbles give way to delicious tastes of ripe sweet strawberry  & raspberry, with a touch of vanilla and cream on the long flavoursome finish.

La Marca Rose

Torre Alto Pinot Grigio Rosé – a very flavoursome dry Rosé, with plenty of strawberry, cream, and even a hint of white pepper. Super-long fruit-filled finish.

Torre Alta  Pinot Grigio Rosé

Voiturette Grenache Rosé A more full-bodied Rosé, where a smidgen of sweetness combines with very ripe summer berries, and a hint of caramel.  

Voiturette Rose

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