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Spring Calls for Rosé!

Nerve agents and snow in March? Clearly, Putin has taken the concept of a Cold War far too literally and enlisted the services of Storm from X-Men to delay our trains and unsettle our grapes vines. Marvel have made in excess of 18,000 superhero movies over the last 2 years yet Boris can’t find us one spidery bat person to stand watch over the White Cliffs of Dover, terrible. Although, perhaps superhero procurement should be the responsibility of the Minister of Defence… Gavin, you’re already on thin ice. Let’s not kid ourselves that the North Koreans aren’t already working on this, Kim Jong Un has obviously been binge watching Jessica Jones yelling at aids, “get me one of those, get me one now.”

Before we inadvertently bring about world peace, we should probably mention that since Storm’s contract negotiations with Russia have stalled, it’s starting to get a great deal warmer; a perfect time to drink some Rosé as we might not make it to the summer! Thus, we thought it an excellent idea to answer a few commonly asked Rosé questions!

What are Provence Rosés?

Provence is a wine growing region found in the most south-easterly corner of France and blessed with a wonderful climate for grape growing. It gets tonnes of sunshine, little rainfall, warm days and cool nights; which causes acid retention and greater aromatics and Provence also benefits from the famous ‘Mistral’ winds; keeping the vineyards dry, free of pests and the skies clear! There are some wonderful reds and whites coming out of this region and over the next few years you will undoubtedly start coming across more but we all know Provence is world famous for one thing; Rosé. Renowned for light extraction of colour, these pink-hued, delicate, floral wines are so delicious it feels unfair to only drink them for the 6 days of sun we get in the UK…

A perfect example of a Provence style rosé…

CABARET ROSÉ 2016 - £10.50Cabaret-Rose

How are Rosé Wines Made?

There are 3 main methods of making rosé:

  1. Maceration – To produce red wine you typically ferment the wine with the skin before you press. This gives the wine colour and tannin. To make most rosés, they simply macerate the wine on the skin for a shorter period of time typically 12-24 hours compared to upwards of 72 hours, which is common for red wines. This gives roses wines a delicate body and light colouring.
  2. Saignée (bleeding) – Rosé wines made in this fashion are essentially a by-product of red wine. If you want to make red wine more powerful, you can remove (bleeding off) some of the grape must from the skins, the remaining must will have a great skin to liquid ratio thus the final wine will be much more concentrated, tannic and deep of colour. The liquid separated from the original must and skins will have a much lighter colour and can be easily turned into to a good quality rosé.
  3. Blending – Fairly self-explanatory; the process of simply mixing red & white wine together to produce a rosé. This is a prohibited method for rosé production in many wine making regions and is rarely used for a high-quality wine with one notable exception; Champagne. Many rosé Champagnes of exceptional quality are made by merely blending red and white wines together!

Are Light Rosés Better than Darker Rosés?

The long and short of it; no. Light roses are not necessarily better, nor are they necessarily drier; however, there are usually stylistic differences. Light rosés will typically be closer in style to white wine with a lighter body, very little (if any) noticeable tannins and less of a red fruit profile. Darker rosés, due to greater extraction, will typically be richer, fuller-bodied and a more powerful fruit character. There are outstanding examples in both categories so don’t write off the darker styles!

Looking for a dark rosé? Why not try a Tavel rosé? Tavel is a region renowned for exceptional quality darker rosés.

FAMILLE PERRIN TAVEL ROSÉ 2016 - £16

Tavel-Rose

 

What Temperature Should Rosé be Served At?

Rosé is clearly a wine that shows well when chilled but don’t overdo it. Just like white wine it should be served between 8-12°C. An hour in the fridge before serving will typically do the trick.

What Food goes with Rosé?

Let’s be honest, most rosé is going to be drunk as an aperitif, perhaps in the vicinity of a BBQ, which is really just an excuse to drink plenty of rosé, it’s circular. However, rosé is a fantastic food wine. For light Provence style wines think summer dishes; pan fried salmon, more interesting salads and due to the high acidity, you can even pair it with charcuterie and cheeses. Darker rosés will happily pair with richer dishes, try things like fish curries and matching them with Asian cuisine.

What is Brosé?

For some reason, rosé is perceived as ‘feminine’ by a section of society. To overcome this apparent stigma some gentlemen have taken to refer to it as ‘brosé’ (rosé for bros). You may regularly come across this turn of phrase if you spend any time around Chelsea in July. The “offending bros” will often be wearing boat shoes, possibly a pink shirt, in possession of a copy of GQ and hollering at each other “yeah boy, break out the brosé!” We would advise you to not join their ranks…

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