Rosé wine has been the star of summer for several years now. So much so that it can now also be enjoyed in any season, and is no longer just an accompaniment to an aperitif or a barbecue. But do you know how rosé wine is made ? Let's do a check in.
Rosé wines and other types of wine
In oenology, wines are classified according to two characteristics: their color and their type.
The 3 colors of wine
If the wine is made from grapes of 2 colors (white grape and black grape), it is nevertheless available in 3 colors: red wine, white wine and rosé wine.
- White wine is generally made from white grape varieties (Viognier, Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc, etc.), more rarely with red grape varieties (Pinot Noir). It often offers a nice acidity, and aromas of yellow and white fruits;
- Red wine is made from red grape varieties (cabernet sauvignon, merlot, grenache, syrah, etc.). Containing tannins, red wines are more or less full-bodied, and develop notes of black and red fruits, as well as spices;
- Rosé wine can only be vinified with red grape varieties, and we discover aromas of flowers, citrus and red fruits.
Types of wine
Alongside the colors of the wine, there are 5 types of wine: still wines, sparkling wines, natural sweet wines, sweet wines and cooked wines.
- Still wine can be red, rosé or white, and includes all wines that are not sparkling;
- Sparkling wine is a bubble wine (sparkling, champagne, crémant);
- Natural sweet wine , or fortified wine, uses the same vinification method as still wine, except that the process is stopped earlier, to keep the sugar naturally present in the must, and add 90% alcohol;
- Sweet wine has different levels of sweetness, such as semi-dry wine, sweet wine or sweet wine;
- The cooked wine goes through a cooking stage after maceration, so that the water evaporates and the juice reduces by half. After fermentation, it is aged in barrels.
Making rosé wine
No, rosé wine is not a mixture of red wine and white wine. In fact, rosé wine can be made in two different ways: by pressing or by bleeding .
Pressing rosé wine
Pressing rosé , or pressed rosé, uses the same winemaking technique as white wine, which consists of directly pressing the grape, with its juice, its skin and its pulp, so that the juice is in contact with the skin of the grape. grapes for as short a time as possible.
The pigments then only have a short time to pass from the skin to the juice, which gives this wine a pretty pink color. The aromas are then delicate (yellow fruits, flowers, citrus fruits).
The rosé wine of saignée
To make rosé wine, saignée uses the red wine vinification technique instead, with maceration and fermentation during which the skins and the juice remain in contact. Saignée rosé wine then remains in maceration for a shorter time than red wine.
The rosé wine and the red wine are then vinified in the same vat, and the winemaker is responsible for taking the rosé wine from the vat when it has reached the desired color. The rest continues its maceration to produce red wine.
Good to know: if the winemaker stops the maceration of the entire vat, we then speak of maceration rosé .
The cultivation and making of organic rosé wine
The production of organic rosé wine concerns not the winemaking technique, but the viticulture method. To qualify for the AB label, the vines must be grown organically, without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or any other chemical products.
Concerning winemaking, it remains the same as for the manufacture of conventional wines, but the winemaker must respect the limits imposed for the use of certain inputs, in particular sulphites, and certain techniques are prohibited (electrodialysis, cold concentration, etc.).
How to store rosé wine?
Before opening the bottle, rosé wine must be stored away from temperature variations and direct light. It is recommended to store them in a lying position, in a cellar with an average temperature of 12°C.
The shelf life will depend on the wine. Some rosé wines are drunk young (2 to 3 years), while others are suitable for aging for around ten years or more.
Once opened, the bottle of rosé must be re-corked with its original cork, stored in the refrigerator, and consumed within 3 days.
You now know how to make rosé . Why not take the opportunity to learn to distinguish the particularities of bleeding rosé and pressing rosé by tasting the best rosé wines in AOC Côtes de Provence ?