Rosé is one of Australia’s favourite wines. It is perfect for the Aussie climate, ideal either on a warm summer’s day on a picnic or a crisp winter evening on the couch.
But, Rosé comes in a spectrum of styles and colours. So let’s dive deep into this wine style and why you should check it out.
What is Rosé wine?
Contrary to popular belief, Rosé is not a mix of red and white grapes...all the time. It is very rare for Rosé to be made by mixing white and red wine. In fact, in France, this method is forbidden by law, except when it comes to Champagne. By law, we mean wine law which we take very very seriously.
The typical method to make Rosé is with red wine grapes. After the grapes are pressed, the juice has only limited contact with the skins (which give the wine its colour) so they are paler than red wine which is left in the skins for much longer. The darker the Rosé, the more time it is left on skins.
What grapes are Rosé wines made from?
In Australia, the majority of Rosé wines are most commonly made with red wine grapes like Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro, Merlot, Sangiovese and Pinot Noir. Any dark-skin grape will do. It all comes down to the winemaker and the quality of the fruit.
What does Rosé taste like?
There isn’t simply one type of Rosé. The wine can range from very sweet Rosé to very dry Rosé. Pinot Noir produces a pale Rosé that can be crisp and elegant. Grenache, on the other hand, produces vibrant, dark pink Rosé that is more fruit-forward. Did you think that paler Rosés weren’t sweet? Think again! The colour of a Rosé wine is no indication of its sweetness – some of the driest rosés can be hot pink in colour! The only way to discover a Rosé that you love, is to go out and literally smell the Rosés…and then maybe sip them or something.
What’s in a name?
Pardon my French, Rosé is actually derived from the French word for pink, rose. So pretty self-explanatory.
What is Aussie Rosé like?
Like all Rosé, Australian Rosé wine is varied and is specific to region and varietal. Aussie Rosé used to have a reputation for being simple, sweet and pleasantly coloured but boring and unsophisticated. But attitudes, along with the quality of the wine, have changed.
As more Australians started reaching for wines with more elegance and complexity, Australian winemakers responded with affordable wines of high quality. Rosé is now the drink of choice for many, across generations because it so suited to our climate, matches so well with our diet, and let’s face it, it’s really delicious.
Some general rules: If you like the fruit-forward, mouth-filling style, a Barossa or McLaren Vale rosé should be your go-to, while if you are after a more savoury and complex style of wine, a rosé from a cool climate region like Adelaide Hills is your best bet.
Can Rosé be cellared?
Despite the high acid in Rosé, it is not a wine made for cellaring. It will lose its fruit characters in its first few years, so be sure to drink it while it’s young and fresh. The newer the vintage, the better and fresher!
What is a great food pairing with Rosé?
One of the best things about Rosé is that it pairs with basically all foods. The very light, dry Rosé wines will pair well with creamy pasta and white rice dishes, seafood, shellfish, salad. The bolder, more full-bodied Rosé wines pair really well with rich and spicy cuisine such as Indian curries or Mexican food. Stuck for a good food pairing? You can’t go wrong when Rosé is on the wine list!