Where does rosé wine get its colour?
Rosé wine is made from red grapes (in rare cases it’s made from a blend of red and white) and its colour is derived from grape skins. Following a short maceration period, the grapes are immediately pressed, similar to how white wines are made. The partial extraction of colour from the grape skins is what gives the wine its pinky shade, whereas red wines are a result of the grapes undergoing extended maceration.
What makes a rosé lighter or darker?
A rosé’s hue is influenced by the grape varieties used to make it (for example, Pinot Noir and Cinsault have less pigmentation than Cabernet or Syrah), the maturity of the grapes (the riper they are, the redder they are), and at what point during the vinification process they are pressed. Very pale rosés are in high demand, therefore the majority of winemakers press grapes very early on to minimize the possibility of deeply coloured wine. Keep in mind that a rosé’s colour does not necessarily indicate how sweet it is; a dark rosé can be just as dry and refreshing as a paler one… it really is just a question of preference.
- Provençal rosé (Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, etc.)
Colour: very pale, light candy pink, clear
Aromas: apple, melon, berries, a touch of spice
- Bordeaux rosé (Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec…)
Colour: deeper shade, peony pink
Aromas: black and red fruit, floral notes
Can rosés be aged?
We tend to drink rosé in the springtime, following its harvest. However, like all wines, the best vintages can benefit from a few years of cellaring before being opened and enjoyed all year round. A rosé will change slightly in colour with age, and take on a somewhat pale orange shade, just as red wine can. This colour shift is caused by the oxidation process.