Stop and Smell the Rosé: How Rosé Wine Is Made

April 15, 2019

Rosé wine may not be on most connoisseurs’ list of favorites if they have a taste for vintage wine. But it’s definitely a crowd pleaser which is gradually rising in popularity. Available in an assortment of flavors that range from plum, cherry and blackberry, this wine tastes best when chilled.

 

If you’re torn between white or red for an upcoming celebration, go for rosé! The rose-gold hues of this wine look as appealing as it tastes. Contrary to popular wine belief, rosé is not simply a blend of red and white labels. Its distinct flavor profile comes from red grapes that undergo a procedure that’s similar to that of making white wine. This color is achieved through limited skin contact, which results in this distinctive colored wine.

 

How It’s Made

The same blue grapes that are used for producing red wines are also used in making rosé wine. However, people are amazed to learn how red wine gets its rich, burgundy color—especially because the grape juice is crystal clear. Here’s the big reveal: the redness comes from the grape skins which are used for pigmentation.

 

The wine-making process for red wines involves mash fermentation, which processes grape juice and grape skins together. It’s during the fermentation process that the skins release the dark pigment that’s iconic to the red labels.

However, white wine is made through must fermentation, which only processes the clear grape juice without the grape skins. This keeps the wine crystal clear and gives it its unique sparkling quality.

In order to achieve the deep red color of red wines, the fermentation process is prolonged over a span of weeks. However, if the duration is shortened, the color is not as rich. Winemakers filter out the grape skins once the liquid acquires a tinge of pigment and it’s fermented without it.

Once bottled, the glass reveals soft warm shades of rosy-red reflecting from the clear liquid.  Essentially, rosé wine is a variation of red wine, but without the iconic burgundy shade which comes with deep contact with grape skin.

 

Can It Simply Be A Blend Of Red And White

Even though some distilleries are selling pink wine, which is simply a mixture of red and white wines, that can barely be called rosé wine. Schillerwein and Rotgold are a few examples of rotling wine—which is the German term for pink wine.