Whether you are at a restaurant, at home, or with friends, the choice of wine often represents a dilemma. So, before even looking at grape varieties, vintages, or even aromas, let's see how to choose between a white wine and a rosé wine .
Rosé wine and white wine: what’s the difference?
If the presence of tannins in red wine allows it to easily stand out from white wine and rosé wine, it is more difficult to distinguish the major differences between white and rosé .
The vinification technique for white wines and rosé wines
The different wines are essentially distinguished by the vinification method , in other words, the way of transforming the grapes into wine.
To produce rosé wine and white wine, the vinification steps are the same:
- The settling;
- Fermentation ;
Good to know: rosé wine can go through a more or less long maceration stage, particularly for the production of saignée rosé wine.
The different grape varieties of white wine and rosé wine
What mainly differentiates rosés from whites are the grape varieties used for winemaking. If white wine is made exclusively from white grape varieties (Chardonnay, Riesling, Clairette, Gewurztraminer, etc.), rosé wine is mainly made from red grape varieties (Cinsault, Grenache, Gamay, Pinot Noir, etc.).
Each of the grape varieties then offers different aromas and characteristics, which make them unique wines.
Difference in white wine and rosé wine: the issue of maceration
Maceration is this moment during which the skin of the grape is in contact with the juice, thus transferring its colored pigments. In the context of pressing (for white wine and rosé wine pressing), this maceration time is almost non-existent, then the grape is pressed immediately, and the juice is immediately separated from the skin.
On the other hand, for rosé wine from saignée, the skin of the grape is left to macerate for varying periods of time, allowing the juice to take on a pretty pale pink color. But color is not the only difference, because during maceration, rosé wine recovers the tannins from the skins, and acquires different aromas.
The benefits of rosé wine and white wine
Consumed in moderation, wine brings many benefits to the body. If we know those of red wine quite well, what about the virtues of white wine and rosé wine ?
The virtues of rosé wine for the body
Rosé wines contain many components beneficial to health.
- Polyphenols : these antioxidants have interesting properties for reducing bad cholesterol (LDL). They also have anti-inflammatory properties which prevent cardiovascular diseases;
- Potassium : this trace element essential to the proper functioning of the body helps lower blood pressure and regulate heart rate, but also ensures the body's water balance ;
- Resveratrol : this antioxidant prevents skin aging and protects against cardiovascular diseases .
Furthermore, rosé wine is low in calories , which allows it to be consumed in moderation without risk. A 15 cl glass of rosé wine contains, in fact, around 82 calories, making it one of the lowest-calorie alcoholic drinks.
The virtues of white wine for the body
White wine, always drunk in moderation, also has many interesting properties for the body.
- Prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve metabolism: the antioxidants contained in white wine help regulate lipid and glucose levels in the blood. This helps reduce blood pressure and therefore limit heart disease, but also diabetes;
- Improve lung function: the antioxidants in white wine fight against cellular aging, which has an impact on strengthening lung functions;
- Strengthen kidney health: the caffeic acid contained in white wine has antioxidant properties which limit oxidative stress and therefore the risk of kidney disease;
- Prevent depression and mental illnesses: polyphenol acts against cognitive illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, and limits the risks of developing depression.
The particularities of rosé wines from Provence
Provence rosé wines come from vineyards grown in the south of France. There are several denominations and appellations of controlled origin, such as the AOC Côtes de Provence or the AOC Bandol, and each draws inspiration from the terroir to produce very different rosé wines.
This wine-growing region of France produces rosé wine with varying shades, ranging from pale salmon to deep raspberry. The nose is distinguished by notes of black fruits and red fruits (currant, blackcurrant, raspberry, blackberry, etc.), and the aromas of spices are very present and characteristic of Provence (bay leaf, thyme, garrigue, anise, bark of pine, fennel…).
The rosé wine of Provence offers a beautiful balance on the palate, typical of the Provençal terroir.
The particularities of white wines from Provence
White wines from Provence , like rosé wines, are produced in the southern departments of France. If rosé wine represents almost 90% of wine production in these wine-growing regions, white wine represents only 4%.
White Provence wine is nonetheless of very good quality. We find a beautiful pale and shiny color, sometimes with pretty green reflections. Its nose is fresh, with notes of citrus (lemon and grapefruit), and the typical Provençal aromas of the terroir, such as bay leaf and thyme.
On the palate, Provence white wine offers a very nice balance between aromas, alcohol and acidity. It is then well structured and generous.
Food and rosé wine pairings from Provence
If Provence rosé wine can be enjoyed around a barbecue without making a mistake, it can also accompany other, more complex dishes. Here are some food and rosé wine pairings from Provence to taste.
- Rosé 2020 AOP Côtes de Provence - Les Oliviers: with its frank attack and roundness on the palate, this rosé wine works wonders with grilled fish, seafood, or southern vegetables (artichoke, eggplant, tomato, etc.) ;
- Rosé 2021 AOP Côtes de Provence - Le Pigeonnier: generous, round and fresh, this rosé wine from Provence goes well with tasty dishes, such as red mullet, tapenade, and Provençal dishes in general;
- Rosé 2021 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château Saint-Roux: fresh and balanced, this Provencal rosé wine can be enjoyed with goat cheese and local dishes.
Food and white wine pairings from Provence
Often served as an aperitif, dessert, or with fish, white wine from Provence can also surprise you with other food and white wine pairings from Provence .
- White 2019 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château des Bertrands: fresh and creamy, this white wine works wonders with goat's cheese, salmon, or even grilled white fish;
- White 2021 AOP Côtes de Provence - Grande Récolte: with its great aromatic complexity, this white Provence wine goes well with noble dishes, such as Bresse poultry or sea bream;
- White 2016 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château de Berne Grande Cuvée: perfectly balanced, this white wine can be enjoyed with foie gras, poultry with mushrooms, or even white fish.
Are you hesitating between a white wine and a rosé wine ? Everything will depend on the dish that the bottle will accompany, but above all on your tastes. When in doubt, trust yourself, or ask an experienced oenologist who will guide you in your choices.