From the pale and light to the rich and deep, rosé is wine you drink with your eyes first. One of the fastest-growing wines in popularity, its style can range from crisp, fresh and mouthwatering to fruity and textural. Read about rosé
With so much diversity, rosé is not just a wine for the warmer months, but suits a wide range of food and occasions.
The word rosé simply means ‘pink’ in French, and that’s as good a definition as any for this wine. A rosé is a wine that obtains some colour from the grapes it’s made from, but not enough to be classed as a white or a red. It sits firmly in the middle ground. Broad definitions indeed, but they have to be, as rosés are made in still, semi-sparkling and sparkling forms, from grapes as light as zinfandel and as dark as shiraz, and in colours from light grapefruit to deep plum. Rosés can be made from one type of grape, the colour coming from a short period of contact with the skin of the fruit, or by simply blending a white and a red together.
Asking if rosé is sweet or dry is like asking if red wine or white wine is sweet or dry. The sweetness or dryness of a wine comes from the grape variety used, and whether residual sugar has been added, so you’ll be able to find a rosé from whichever part of the sweet-dry spectrum you’d like. As a general rule dry rosés tend to be more popular in Australia, as our palate is partial to dry, bold reds like shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, and dry whites like chardonnay.
With a winemaking heritage as strong as any in the New World, Australia produces some stunning examples of rosé. Bottles from the likes of Brown Brothers, Grant Burge, Serafino and Tahbilk are amongst the best choices, but in reality you’d have to try pretty hard to make a wrong move choosing an Aussie rosé. While rosé is an afterthought in most of the world’s wine regions, the French province of Provence is the exception to the rule. They take rosé seriously there, so a bottle may be worth the investment to compare and contrast against the best local efforts.
Once again, the breadth of the rosé category means that there’s no one answer to this question. Most rosés are best consumed young, and will only remain at their peak for a year or two, while other, drier rosés can age fairly well (although not as well as full-blown reds.) Once it’s opened it’s wise to consume your rosé within three days, although some can be palatable for up to a week.
While the purported health benefits of drinking wine should always be taken with a grain of salt, one proven fact is that the skin of the grape contains most of the fruit’s antioxidants, meaning rosé and red, which stay in contact with the skin for a period of time, will contain more antioxidants than white, which does not.