Rosé Wines

My missus’ little sister cracks me up. She’s a really nice lass, and as a young lady trying to make her way in the world she’s doing really well. She does however have a love of tattoos. Not big ones, dirty ones, rudes ones, or anything like that. Just ones that you think in 10 years time she’s going to look in the mirror and think “hmmmm, maybe not!” I have to say this is my problem with tattoos. What seems like a great idea at the time may prove in time to be slightly ill judged.

Last time came to stay she was sporting her latest and greatest. The letters Y O L O printed vertically down her neck. Apparently I’m just not down with the kids. Apparently it means “You Only Live Once”. Nice one. I guess the fear of wearing turtle necks to every job interview for the rest of your life just isn’t a factor when you’ve only got one life to live!

My missus, on seeing said tattoo, was in serious need of a drink. It just so happened we had a nice bottle of Garnacha Rosé (a rosé wine made from the Garnacha grape, typically found in Spain) in the fridge from a box of randoms I’d got in from a company called Naked Wines that are making great strides in the UK online market. So I went off to crack it open when the future sister in law pulls me up “don’t open that, i don’t like rosé, it’s too poncy”.

This has consistently been the biggest stumbling block for rosé wines, especially in non wine producing countries. It is easing off as more and more of the younger generations are getting back to the barbeques over summers, but in general it’s still seen as an effeminate drink. Some lasses won’t drink the stuff for fear of slipping into the stereotype.

It’s madness. It’s a legacy from days gone by when you could only get one or two styles of rosé and they were both horrible. But time to move on people. There are so many different styles and ways to make the stuff, that there’s no doubt you’ll find one that you absolutely love.

Rosé wines bring something new to the table…

Most rosés are made in light, refreshing, and fruity styles, but pack a bit more of a punch than the usual white wine varieties. Fruit flavours tend to be light red fruit, things like strawberries and raspberries. You like those? You’ll find plenty of rosés that’ll suit you. They also lack the (harsh) tannins of younger red wines, that a lot of people don’t like.

It’s actually not a bad shout for drinking with spicy food. The alcohol burn tends to be slightly lower, but beware, that will depend on how it’s made:

Think about where colour for red wines come from…

As we saw in previous posts, it’s from the skins during pressing and early fermentation. So if you use black grapes, but crush and press them very delicately and then remove the skins as quick as possible, you’ll get very delicately coloured rosé wines.

You can get heavier coloured rosés…

If you follow the same process as red wine making, and then remove the skins early. You can then keep the fermentation going at low temperatures as you would with white wines, in order to keep the fruit flavour.

A great bulk way is by blending…

We all remember our primary colours right? What do you get if you mix red and white? Boom! This is a very popular way of inexpensive rosé production in the new world. In the EU it’s mostly banned (the exemption being Rosé Champagne).

Some grapes very good for it…

Garnacha/Grenache, for example, is a grape made famous in Spain for rosé in particular. It’s a red wine grape that’s got very thin skins and and hence has naturally weak colour. Makes it an ideal candidate. That’s the kind of grape you’re looking for.

Rosé wines really fit certain occasions…

Don’t know about you guys, but we’ve had a ridiculously hot summer over here in the UK. It’s a perfect wine for warm summer days, BBQs, trips down the beach, all that kind of jazz.

Maybe that’s why it struggles in the UK? The weather tends to be pretty crap.

Maybe we’re just not open minded enough? But come on guys! As the neck of a 20 year old scandie lass has reminded me, you only live once! Get involved.




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