Summer is always synonymous with warmth, relaxation and vacation. It's a special time when everyone rests and enjoys the good weather. And during these pleasant moments, rosé wine appears on tables and aperitifs, bringing freshness and sweetness on a hot day. With summer approaching, let's look at 5 things to discover about rosé wines in summer .
Summer rosé wines: the favorites of the French
According to a 2019 study, conducted by France Agrimer, and published in the World Economic Observatory of Rosé Wines, the French drink on average 15 liters of rosé per year . To give you an idea, this represents 7.5 times more than the consumption of rosé in the United States, where each inhabitant makes do with 2 liters per year. Placed in the pole position of the largest consumers of rosé wine in the world , France alone tastes 34% of the world production of rosé wine. The United States comes just behind, with 15%.
In terms of rosé production, France is also at the top of the ranking, and in particular Provence, which remains the leading wine producing region of rosé wine in the world .
5 things to know about rosé wines
For a long time, rosé was relegated to the status of a table wine, little worked and even less refined. However, with a lot of work and patience, the winegrowers were able to show all the subtleties of the rosés . Let’s go into detail on 5 things you may not know about rosé.
It is not made from a mixture of white wines and red wines
Popular beliefs have long led us to believe that rosé wine was a mixture of red wine and white wine . Nothing is more false than this preconceived idea, because this practice is even prohibited in the world of wine. Only Champagne is authorized to make a blend of red wine and white wine.
To obtain a wine with a pretty pink color , the winemaker uses very specific winemaking techniques, without ever mixing white and red.
The beautiful pink color comes from black grapes
Winegrowers who make rosé wine exclusively use grapes from black grape varieties (pinot noir, syrah, grenache noir, cinsault, etc.). It is then the skin of the grape which gives the rosé its pretty color. Indeed, the skin film of the black grape contains pigments , called anthocyanins, which diffuse into the grape juice during maceration. Logically, the longer the maceration, the more colored the wine will be.
Finally , the vinification technique for rosé wine is very close to that of red wine, only the duration of maceration is shortened for rosé (a few hours for rosé, compared to several weeks for red wine).
3 winemaking techniques for a single wine
Technically, rosé is the most difficult wine to make. Winegrowers then have the choice between 3 winemaking methods:
- Rosé de saignée : the black grapes are crushed and the must is placed in a vat dedicated to the production of red wine. After a few hours of maceration, juice is taken from the vat, while the rest continues its vinification into red wine. The juice taken, after alcoholic fermentation, becomes rosé wine;
- Maceration rosé : this vinification method is the same as saignée rosé, but the entire vat is dedicated to the production of rosé;
- Rosé by direct pressing : press rosé wine is made from grapes that are crushed and pressed immediately after the harvest, to extract the juice.
These 3 techniques offer, of course, subtly different rosé wines, with varying aromas. We generally find fruity flavors, such as aromas of peach or small red fruits, but the aromatic complexity is more or less marked depending on the wine.
Sulphites can actually cause headaches
Around a good drink, the sulphite debate still rages. Some people think they are responsible for headaches , others don't believe it. In reality, it all depends on the person. Sulfite, or sulfur dioxide (SO2) is an antioxidant naturally present in wine, but which can also be added to ensure a good balance. And there is evidence that this gas can give headaches to the most sensitive people, but if consumed in small quantities, the risks are very low.
Rosé wine is rarely suitable for aging
Generally speaking, rosé wine is a wine that is enjoyed young , and is not intended to mature in the cellar. It is appreciated for its freshness and lightness, qualities that it could lose with too long maturation. So, if you buy inexpensive bottles of rosé, you should consume them within a year.
On the other hand, it should be noted that rosé wines for aging exist. Very good bottles of rosé can be kept for up to 10 years, like some Côtes de Provence or some Bandol.
The arrival of sunny days makes you want to uncork a nice little bottle of rosé? Take advantage of summer and the many warm evenings to discover the rosés of Provence, and why not take a short wine-tasting trip to the Berne area ?