Making Rosé Wines
The interest in Rosé wine has become markedly increased. At one time this type of wine tended to be somewhat looked down upon and was frequently referred to as a ‘summer’ wine due to the fact that it was much lighter than a white wine or red wine.
Today there are many different styles of Rosé wine available on the commercial market and many home based winemakers are experimenting with the different ways to produce Rosé wine. Dry Rosé wines, in particular, have become increasingly popular.
This type of wine may be referred to quite commonly as Rosé; however, it is also referred to a blush wine. Generally, this rather pinkish wine is referred to as Rosé in Europe, where it tends to be drier, while in the United States it is referred to as a blush wine. Most American blush wines tend to be far sweeter than their European counterparts.
If you are looking for a way to expand the types of wine that you produce there are several reasons to consider including a good Rosé as part of your wine repertoire. First, while this type of wine has certainly earned a reputation as a sweet wine that does not necessarily mean that you must produce a very sweet Rosé. A slightly off dry or very dry Rosé wine can still be quite pleasant and fruity. In fact, in some cases, you can produce a Rosé wine that is just as good in terms of quality as a red wine, if not better, in fact.
When deciding to venture into making Rosé wine it is important to keep in mind that there are really three different ways in which to make Rosé wine. The first method is known as “blanc de noir”. This means that a white wine is produced from red grapes. Another method, referred to as saignée, separates juice from red wine. The final method is blending red wine and white wine.
When skin contact is used to create Rosé wine you will need to determine how long you wish to leave the skins of the grapes in contact with the juice because this will determine the color of the wine. In most cases, the time period is quite short; generally between two and three days. After this point the grapes are pressed and you can discard the skins. Keep in mind that the longer you leave the skins in contact with the juice, the deeper the color of the final wine will be. The exact type of grapes that are used with this method can also contribute to the color of the wine. For example, if you use a very deep colored grape then naturally the resulting wine is going to have a deeper pink color.
The saignée method, also referred to as bleeding, is often chosen when you want to have more color and tannin in a red wine while also removing the juice. The juice must be removed very early. This process is referred to as bleeding the vats. You can then ferment the juice separately and produce a Rosé wine that is really more of a by-product of your red wine. Your separate red wine will then be far more intense because the volume of the juice has been reduced.
Blending is a very simple process that involves mixing red wine and red wine in order to add color to the red wine. Most wine makers have moved away from this method; however. Most people prefer to use one of the first two methods mentioned above. Primarily the only region in the world where blending is still used to produce a blush wine is Champagne, France.
When you begin making your first blush or Rosé wine you may find that you need to experiment some in order to find what you like best. If you have tried blush wines previously you may already have an idea of whether you prefer a dry wine or a sweet wine. Experimenting with different methods as well as different types of grapes; however, will aid you in finding out which method you prefer and which one produces the most agreeable blush wines.