Secrets behind the Many Shades of Pink

 

The centuries-old rosé culture

Despite the fact that rose wines have been rebranded on social media as the cool party drink of the millennial generation, the tradition of producing and drinking it dates back to the times of Ancient Greece, making rosé in fact one of the oldest types of wines ever made!

Since the 19th century, rosé has become a symbol of glamour and leisure for holidaymakers in southern France. For French people, rosé has been considered as the vin de soif, meaning “a wine to quench thirst”, since with its less harsh and lighter taste than red and white wines. Rose wines becomes a perfect choice for aperitif before dinner, for relaxation in long summer days in the garden, the swimming pool and various joyous occasions.

Why is rosé pink? Is rosé just a mixture of red and white wines?

The habit of diluting and mixing wines is not something new. While this could also be a fun experiment for people to produce a “DIY rosé” at home, the art of rosé production is much more than that! In fact, the production of rose wines is very similar to that of red wines, only with a reduced period of fermentation with grape skins, in other words, a shorter time for the wine having skin contact with the grapes, therefore creating the illuminated pink hue and a lighter taste in the palate than red wine does.

In short, the making of rosés varies in different regions, either produced with a blend of different grape varieties or from one single grape variety.

How do rosés come in different colours?

The results of rose wines to be found a such great range of shades, from pale blush, to coral pink or even to a bright pink, has to do with the production methods.

The most common production method is called maceration. It means to soak (to macerate) juice from red grapes with grape skins until the juice acquires a subtle pinkness, before removing the grape skins with the juice to continue the fermentation process. The longer the maceration, the darker the hue the rosé gets.