A few articles ago we reported the news of the creation of Prosecco Rosé: a new wine, recently recognized also by the Italian Wine Committee of the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, that from next January we will have the opportunity to taste since it will arrive on the shelves of wineries and supermarkets of all Europe and the UK. But what is the procedure for creating a rosé wine? Today we discover it together.
The middle way between red wine and white wine
To begin, it is good to clarify: contrary to what we sometimes hear, rosé wine is not obtained by mixing red wine and white wine, because, in addition to being an incorrect procedure, it would also be illegal. What is true is that rosé wine is a middle ground both in terms of colour and in terms of other organoleptic characteristics between red and white wines: from the other two types, it can take the body and the freshness, for example.
The three procedures for making rose wine
Now the myth of mixing the other two wines has been dispelled, it is time to clarify how to obtain a rosé wine correctly. There are three main methods to do so:
1. by using slightly coloured red grapes, which are close to pink;
2. by using a greater quantity of white grapes than red ones;
3. by using red grapes and dividing the skins from the fermentation liquid before the wine takes colour.
The first two methods do not see the need for particular precautions, while the third is a procedure on its own, with its ways and timing.
It takes place in the same way as the fermentation of red wine in its first moments: the grapes are pressed and left to macerate with the skins, to absorb tannins, aromas and polyphenols. The difference lies in the timing of this procedure: while for red wine maceration with skins is long and causes it to take on its characteristic colour, for rosé wines contact with the skins is limited in time. This moment can, in fact, last from 2 hours to a few days depending on the characteristics of the type of wine to be obtained. Once the partial fermentation with the skins is completed, that is when the must starts to become coloured, part of the liquid is removed and let it finish its fermentation without skins. This practice can also be used to make red wine more concentrated.
From this moment on, production becomes that of white winemaking: instead of ageing in wooden barrels, the wine is left in steel and cement containers. Rosé wine in fact due to the limited content of polyphenols and the volatility of the characteristics do not resist ageing well and must be consumed within about two years from production.
Why rose wines are so popular
Now we know how not only the organoleptic characteristics but also the production methods of rosé wines make them a perfect middle ground between reds and whites. And as such they are appreciated all over the world: easy to drink and to combine, they are the protagonists on the table in summer and spring and they go perfectly with many different menus. Try an outstanding one from our catalogue of natural wines: this Le Loup Blanc Petit Chaperon Rose 2014 Languedoc-Roussillon, France would be perfect!