ROSE. You probably have noticed that many of wine-conscious restaurants are starting to list “Rosé Category” on their wine lists.
What is rosé wine? It is a type of wine that carries the color from the grape skins, but the color is not deep enough to qualify itself as a red wine. Rosé can be made from a variety of red wine grapes or even from certain white wine grapes with dark skin. In a traditional method, the color depth or body can be determined by the period of skin contact. In France, the most common process is called "saignée” (bled off) which denotes the technique of making rosé wines by leaving the skins of red wine grapes in contact with the juice for a relatively short period. In the US, the law permits blending of red and white wines after fermentation, so various modern style rosé from multi-grapes are coming out to the market.
Because of its pretty pink color, for a long time, this category was considered as a ‘girl’s drink’ and was not a main player in the wine world. Especially in the US, where the sweet White Zinfandel had long been the queen of rosé, the strong image of rosé as solely a sweet cocktail alternative held back the growth of other rosé. However, with recent media effort and increasing attention among wine professionals, rosé has secured an important position in the industry. Rosé wine can range from crisp, fresh, and bone dry style with citrus fruit aromas close to white wine, to fruit-forward, structured, and elegant style, reminiscent of quality Pinot Noir. This flexibility offers a great pairing with a wide range of trendy cuisines with Asian and Latin influences.
Brands to watch:
2012 Calera Vin Gris Rosé of Pinot Noir, Central Coast (web)
2012 Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé (web)
2012 Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé, Provence (web)
2012 Chacewater Syrah Rosé, Sierra Foothills (web)
2012 Cielo Wineyards Woodstock Collection Misty Roses (web)
2012 Etude Pinot Noir Rosé, Carneros (web)
2012 J Vin Gris, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County (web)
2012 Kenzo Estate Yui Rosé, Napa Valley (web)
2012 Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallèle 45, Cotes du Rhône (web)
2012 Rene Barbier Mediterranean Rosé (web)
*This is the English version of the original article in Japanese which was published as one of the "Alice in WINEderland" wine article series on The Japanese Daily Sun Newspaper in July 2013.
** The photo shows the Rosé Wine lineup at Crustacean Beverly Hills.