Pink is in – even with the blokes! Mas­ter of Wine Emma Jenk­ins looks at the sum­mery appeal of rosé, a wine that is see­ing a huge in­crease in pop­u­lar­ity.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

The ea­gle-eyed amongst you may have noted an ex­pan­sion in the rosé shelves lately. When I judged at the Air NZ Wine Awards last year, the rosé class had 100 wines, with some ab­so­lute stun­ners. Only a few years back, there would have been 30-odd wines in a class con­sid­ered the judg­ing day’s booby prize. Not so now! Sales are rock­et­ing glob­ally and winer­ies are scram­bling to meet de­mand. There’s even a phe­nom­e­non known as Brosé – yes, that’s bros (aka, men) drink­ing rosé. You read it here first. So, to help you keep up with the play, here’s the low-down on rosé.

What is a rosé? Rosés are gen­er­ally fresh, light bod­ied and fruity with lit­tle tan­nins. Es­sen­tially, a rosé is red wine made a bit more like white wine, end­ing up a del­i­cate hue of pink – hence its name. Rosé wines have been around for­ever (Provençal pro­duc­tion dates back to around 125BC) and many red wines of past cen­turies would have been more akin to what we now know as rosé.

How are they made? Al­most all red grapes are white on the in­side. The colour is in the skin, so when grapes are crushed at the start of the wine­mak­ing process, the longer the juice is in con­tact with the skins, the deeper the wine’s colour. Skin con­tact usu­ally lasts for days, or even weeks, for true red wines but when mak­ing a rosé you want just a touch of colour, so skin con­tact is a few hours to a day at the most. The fi­nal pink will re­late to the type of grape used as well as skin con­tact time, as red va­ri­eties vary in hue and pig­ment depth. Less com­monly, rosés can be made by “bleed­ing off” a bit of red wine while the colour is still pale, or even by blend­ing a lit­tle fin­ished red wine with white wine, although this is mostly con­fined to some rosé sparkling wines.

What are the dif­fer­ent styles? Rosés can be bone dry through to sweet, made from any num­ber of dif­fer­ent grapes, and can range from light and rather friv­o­lous to tex­tu­ral and se­ri­ous. If this sounds a bit con­fus­ing, fear not. Most New Zealand rosés are made from pinot noir, usu­ally in vi­brantly fruity, off-dry styles. French and Span­ish ex­am­ples tend to be drier, with more savoury tones, and are won­der­ful with food. As al­ways, ex­plo­ration is the fun of it... What do you drink them with, and can you age

them? Rosés are ver­sa­tile food wines, hav­ing as­pects of both red and white wines. The clas­sic matches are salmon or salade Niçoise, but goat's cheese tarts, tapas and Mediter­ranean foods as well as Thai and In­dian all suit a de­cent rosé. The ma­jor­ity are Drink Now wines – best en­joyed within a year of vin­tage, lightly chilled, with good friends and food. Per­fect sum­mer sip­ping.

Rosés are ver­sa­tile food wines, hav­ing as­pects of both red and white wines.

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