A Rosé wine (From French: rosé, ‘pinkish’) has some of the color typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and wine making techniques. There are three major ways to produce rosé wine :
- Skin Contact : the first is used when rosé wine is the primary product. Red-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically two or three days. The grapes are then pressed, and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The skins contain much of the strongly flavored tannin and other compounds, which leaves the taste more similar to a white wine. The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine
- Saignée : Rosé wine can be produced as a by-product of red wine fermentation using a technique known as Saignée, or bleeding the vats. When a winemaker desires to impart more tannin and color to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must involved in the maceration is concentrated. The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé.
- Blending : the simple mixing of red wine to a white to impart color, is uncommon. This method is discouraged in most wine growing regions.
Regardign Blending, there is currently a European Union scheme to allow a blend of red and white wines to be sold as rose. An overwhelming majority of French consumers are strongly opposed to this scheme. In France rosé is traditionally produced by leaving crushed red grapes to soak with macerating white grapes. But New World winemakers in Australia, South Africa and elsewhere have produced cheaper rosés by blending white and red roses. The European Commission, which is due to finalise reforms of the EU wine labelling system in June, has offered to compromise by giving French rosé wines a special designation to distinguish them from blended wines...