It’s always great to be that guy at the dinner party that knows things. You know, the one that can rattle on about Voltaire or the history of Spain, or knows every single lyric to Biggie’s 1994 hit, Juicy.
Well, we want you to be that guy too, the one that knows all the important, very impressive things about Rosé but is still totally low key about it. Here’s 5 things you never knew about Rosé but wish you did.
1. Rosé is the real deal when it comes to wine
In the beginning there was Rosé, the original wine. Literally, your favourite summer water and refreshing pink drink was the first to show up at the wine party. Centuries ago, when geniuses were obviously thinking of ways to lighten up their social lives, they decided to make wine and that wine was Rosé, the first wine to ever exist.
But why Rosé? Rosé simply was and has always been the easiest wine to make. Produced as early as 7000 BC when wine presses and more sophisticated techniques used for today's wines were not widely available. Both red and white wine grapes were often pressed soon after harvest, by hand, feet or even sack cloth and created juice that was only lightly pigmented, being Rosé. But even when new more efficient processes sashayed to the fore, many still preferred the light, freshness of Rosé and stuck with it. Because, delicious obviously.
2. There is no Rosé grape, guys
Sorry to crush everything you thought to be true about life, but Rosé does not actually come from a ‘Rosé grape’ like many people assume. We get it, it’s an easy conclusion to come to so don’t feel stupid or uncultured, there’s only so many spaces for wine snobs in the world. And, what with red wine being made from red grapes and white from white grapes, it only seems natural that there should also be a Rosé grape right? Wrong.
Don’t worry, it’s not made by miracle or immaculate conception, it’s actually plain old science. We explain below.
3. Rosé is not made from ‘swooshing’ red and white wine together
Traditional French Rosé is made when the skins of red grapes (lightly crushed) touch wine for only a short amount of time, anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on how deep the winemaker wants the colour to be. The longer the skins are left in, the more likely the wine will produce a deep colour with more tannin, similar to a red wine. This is the most common method and generally referred to as maceration.
4. Vintage is not OK when it comes to Rosé
Lots of people pick their wine by how old it is. Each to their own, but choosing any wine based on this ‘vintage’ philosophy will never be a sure thing. Rosés are designed to be easy drinking, sessionable wines and it’s important to note that they are not generally produced to age, you’ll rarely find a bottle that’s more than two or three years old and if you do, caution to you.
So, don’t go all ‘champagne’ on everyone and be like “I’ve got this great 2003 French Rosé to enjoy at dinner”. It’s only downhill from there. Stick with the newest vintage, it’s the pick.
5. Good Rosé shouldn’t break the bank
If you read our last blog, you’ll know that when you choose your Rosé you should always go for a dry, pale wine. These are signs of wines that are refreshing and not overly sweet. They’re also great benchmarks for when you have absolutely no idea about how to pick a wine in a restaurant, which is probably most of us.
What we didn’t mention was that good Rosé doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, some of the best Rosés from France come in under $30 in Australia, there are naturally a smaller variety of Rosés but still some gems to be found. You can pick up a good French bottle under $30 in most bottle shops and don’t feel pressured to pick the most expensive bottle on the list. You should still get a good drop at around $65-$80 at any venue - Just remember, dry and pale is the way.