By Debbie Trenholm, Savvy Company Founder & Sommelier
I love this time of the year. When wineries start getting excited about releasing their Rosé wine, it is always a sure sign that summer is around the corner! Made with the grapes harvested last fall, Rosé wine is a perfect drink to enjoy after a winter of heavy red wines. Rosés quench your thirst, they are low-ish in alcohol (usually 11-12%) and pair with many spring & summertime foods–especially brunch, lunch, picnic or backyard BBQ fare. Unlike other styles of wine, Rosés can be made with any kind of red grapes–a single variety or a blend of several. There are even a few made from a blend of red & white grapes! Wine makers have the liberty to use anything from the vineyard to craft a Rosé wine like an artist creating a masterpiece. Sometimes it can be hard to know whether you’ll love a Rosé when picking a bottle based on grape variety, price, pink colour or creative labelling. But half the fun with Rosés is discovering new favourites every year–and our Sommeliers are here to help with taste tips about the latest releases.
Sommelier Tips for Rosé :
Rule of thumb: drink by Christmas the year that you bought the wine.
Typically Rosé wines come in a clear bottle so you can enjoy the colour before opening the bottle…it will make you thirsty!
Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins before serving….as the Rosé wine warms up, notice how the aromas & taste change.
Rosés are not all sweet–trust us! (Pink Zinfandel from California or those called ‘blush’are often sweeter)
Price points are usually $15–$30
Real men drink Rosé wines!
How is Rosé wine made?
It’s all in the skins! The majority of grapes used in winemaking have a white flesh, so when crushed, the juice is white. The skins of red grape varieties–such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Syrah, Cabernet Franc etc.–contain a red pigment. After the grapes have been crushed and the juice is collected, the winemaker keeps the grape skins sitting with the juice for a few hours–or a couple of days–in order to achieve the colour that they want for the wine. This is the same process for red wines, except that for reds, the grape skins are left in the juice much longer – typically for several weeks. Removing the grape skins earlier when making Rosé results in a lighter coloured–and lighter tasting–wine. Once the grape skins are removed, the juice is allowed to ferment into alcohol in a stainless steel tank. I have yet to come across a Rosé wine that has been barrel aged.
Making Rosé wine takes just a few months, whereas red wine can take a few years from harvest to bottling. Where to start? Our Sommeliers have got you covered! Our team of Savvy Sommeliers has done the ‘guess work’. We’ve been sampling the latest Rosé wines made across Ontario & each month during the summer, we will put together an assortment of the most refreshing Rosé wines for you. Beginning in May, we will curate 6 pack assortments of Rosé wines as part of our Savvy Care Package offerings. Several of these Rosés have just been released & you’ll be the first to enjoy them! These bottles are not available at the LCBO…they’ll come straight from the wine makers to you. You can order a one-off, or you can subscribe to auto-magically receive REALLY good Rosés delivered to your doorstep each month. And don’t forget to treat your Mom to a special Bouquet of Rosés for Mother’s Day too!