beginners guide to rose wine

The Beginner's Guide to Rosé Wine

Summer’s gone, but rosé is always in season. It’s one of the easiest wines to pair with a meal, fits in at the football tailgate, and is enjoyed by just about everyone. So put on your rosé-colored glasses and see all of the good that this pink wine has to offer …

 

WHAT IS ROSÉ WINE

Simply put, rosé wine is just like red wine, only with less skin contact if using the maceration method (just a few hours of skin contact to a few days at maximum) for lighter tannins and to create the blush hue this wine is famous for. After this short process, the pink juice is then fermented before being bottled, boxed, and canned.

Wineries may also “blend” a rosé by adding a very small percentage of red wine to white wine, or use the “bled” method which is when a small amount of red wine is separated or “bled” off from the rest of the vat to ferment into a richer version of the pink wine. That’s a big reason why rosé is so versatile, and why it varies greatly in flavor between wineries.

So would any red wine grape do the trick? Theoretically, yes … but some grapes stand out among the bunch. It also depends on where the wine is from. In France and Spain, a dry rosé (the world’s most common pink wine) is made with 2-3 grape varieties. In California however, it’s common to rely simply on Pinot Noir grapes. Regardless, this wine is versatile and can please almost any palate, which makes it a great option when trying to pick an adult beverage everyone will like.

CHOOSE YOUR ROSÉ WINE

In general, a darker colored wine requires a longer maceration time and will have a richer flavor compared to its lighter counterparts at the liquor store. So if you prefer a flavorful, “heavier” wine, the more magenta the better. On the contrary, if a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc is more your style, a lighter pink is the way to go.

Of course, color is just the beginning. Bottles, boxes, and cans typically distinguish the sort of style you can expect. Sweet, dry, and sparkling are just some of the types you’ll want to try.

 

SPARKLING ROSÉ, DRY ROSÉ, FROZÉ … WHICH IS BETTER?

Dry rosé is the most commonly produced and offers a refreshing, less-sweet finish to please all of the wine aficionados in your life. These are typically easy drinking with crisp flavor and go great on any patio, while the sparkling genre takes this pink wine to a whole new celebratory level.

Similar to prosecco or Champagne, sparkling rosé is a palate cleanser between bites of a heavy meal … Thanksgiving, we’re looking at you. So instead of splurging on expensive bottles of red which will add heaviness to the meal, try a sparkling rosé at the table for an even more impressive pairing.

As for frozé, reserve the slushy stuff for pool parties or a summer birthday bash. But even then, regular rosé works just as well and requires no extra effort on the hosting end.

PERFECT FOOD PAIRINGS

We said it before and we’ll say it over and over again — rosé pairs with almost any dish. From lighter vegetarian meals, to cheese boards, bratwursts, and grilled steak, this wine pairs well with both light salads and heavy foods, along with any dish made with fresh herbs. It’s a great option for picnics, holiday gatherings, and late-night snacking.

 

THE BEST ROSÉ BOTTLE, BOX, AND CAN

Bottle: Bieler Père Et Fils Rosé

When it comes to bottles, there’s no shortage of quality and budget-friendly rosé wines to pair with a romantic al fresco dinner. Bieler Père Et Fils Rosé from Provence is just one bottle that adds mature dry and fruity flavor to a romantic dinner at only $10. And while rosé bottles tend to lean more glamorous in branding, this one is subtly medieval to stand out among the rest of the overwhelmingly cursive-font bottles.

Bieler Père Et Fils Rosé
Bieler Père Et Fils Rosé



Box: Bota Box Dry Rosé

Camping? Hosting a book club? Or simply unsure of what to bring to a big outdoor shindig? This boxed rosé is sure to be a welcome break from the beer and liquor. Plus, with four bottles in each one, you don’t need to worry about bringing your fair contribution to the party — a box of wine is always good enough.

Bota Box Dry Rosé
Bota Box Dry Rosé



Canned: MANCAN Rosé Wine

Since rosé works all year round, it’s best to be prepared at all times. With MANCAN Rosé Wine, you can keep canned rosé (equivalent to half a bottle) in your fridge for whatever activity comes your way. And since this wine is best enjoyed straight from the can, it’s perfect for pool decks, hot tubs, and any situation where you don’t want a glass bottle or heavy box to get in the way of things … and the last thing we want is for anything to get in the way of drinking this delicious pink wine!

mancan rose
MANCAN Rosé Wine

Erin Hooker

Erin Hooker is a writer with experience creating wine, food, and interior design content. She began contributing to Graham + Fisk’s blog in 2021.