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A guide to rosé wines

Written by Chelsea Tromans

 

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s a great time of year to start transitioning your wine collection from winter warming reds to the fresh flavours of rosé. If you know your Shiraz from your Cab Sav, and your Chardonnay from your Riesling, but you're clueless when it comes to rosé, this guide will help you pick your perfect pink match.

 

How rosé is made

You’d be forgiven for assuming that rosé gets its pink colour from mixing a white wine with a red wine. While this is true for some rosé wines, there are two additional ways that rosé can be made. Some rosés are made similar to a red wine where the grapes are pressed; the skins are then left in with the juices, which causes the wine to change in colour. However, when making a rosé, this process - known as maceration - is shortened so the colour develops into a pink hue rather than a deep red. The other method for making rosé is called the saignée method. This process involves using red grapes intended for making red wine and “bleeding” off some of the pink juice that forms after the grape pulp has sat with the skins. The juice is then fermented to create a rosé.

 

What does rosé taste like

Like red wines and white wines, rosés can vary greatly in flavour. However, you will find that many rosés are dry with a crisp acidity. They’re not as sweet as you may think. Best consumed cold, they tend to be refreshing and light. Rosés that are darker in colour are often more full-bodied due to the skins of the grapes coming into contact with the juices for longer periods of time. As a general rule, rosé doesn’t need to be left to age so stop saving yours for a special occasion - it’s a great ‘just because’ drink!

Try: For a refreshing spring spritz, try a sparkling rosé. Vandenberg Jasmin Sparkling Rosé is a fruity rosé with soft bubbles, perfect for popping open on a balmy evening for a pre-dinner aperitif.

What foods pair well with rosé

Picture this: You’re sitting out in the gorgeous sunshine, sipping on an ice-cold glass of rosé, and grazing on a cheese platter. Life is good! But cheese spreads and charcuterie boards aren’t the only foods that make a wonderful match for a glass of rosé. Quiches and tarts boasting seasonal produce, vibrant fresh salads, and fruity desserts all bring out the best in a rosé.

Rosé doesn’t only have a laidback side either. It also suits a sophisticated palette, pairing beautifully with salmon, duck and medium rare lamb.

Something to keep in mind when planning your menu around your favourite bottle of rosé: lighter variants work well with delicate dishes like seafood and salads, while fuller-bodied blends can complement heartier foods like barbecue meats and even spicy curries.

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