The perfect middleman, rosé is an alluring option for those who bounce between the desire for a white and a red. Covering a broad range of grapes, production techniques and tastes, rosé is a far more diverse style of wine than many give it credit for.

You don’t feel like a red. Nor do you feel like a white. You feel like something in the middle. You feel like a rosé. 

While not a varietal (rosés can be made from almost any grape), rosé wines are nonetheless treated as their own category, and it’s a category that encapsulates a surprisingly broad range of tastes, textures and regions.

A rosé by any other name…

The term “rosé” is French for ‘pink’. In Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries the wine is referred to as “rosada” while in Italy it is known as “rosato”. Rosés are simply defined as a style of wine that obtains some colour from the skins of the grape, but not enough to qualify as red wine. 

It’s a broad definition that allows rosé wines to be produced in still, semi-sparkling and sparkling forms, in a range of colour intensities from grapefruit to blackberry, from grapes that vary from white zinfandel to shiraz, and from wineries that hail from every corner of the globe.

How rosé came to bloom

Most wine historians agree that rosé could well be the oldest wine style of all, such is the comparative simplicity of its production when compared to the likes of red wine and sparkling. Ancient wines were hand- or foot-pressed, leading to grape skin contact that would have likely been similar to that used to make the rosé wines of today. 

Pale reds were in fact the predominant wine style up until only a few centuries ago. As inter-European trade routes opened up during the Middle Ages the wines of Bordeaux and Champagne (before their famous sparkling wine was invented) were famed for their light pink complexion, described variously as ‘partridge’s eye’ for their colour, or “vin d'une nui”’ (wine of one night) for the fact that the wine was given a single night of grape skin contact to imbue it with colour. 

While the taste for rosé faded slightly through the 18th, 19th and the first half of the 20th century as heavier reds came to the fore, winemakers soon found a new market for the style. This was pioneered by two Portuguese families who offered up the Mateus and Lancers wines – far sweeter than the rosés that came before them. They were crafted to appeal to the burgeoning European and North American markets, and the gamble paid off. Just three decades after its creation, Mateus made up no less than 40% of Portugal’s total table wine exports. 

Since the 1950s rosés have been offered in both sweet and dry forms, with the styles happily coexisting and drawing equal amounts of attention. While occupying a smaller segment of the market than still whites, still reds and sparklings, rosés have nonetheless steadily grown in popularity over the last few decades; a trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing.

''Most wine historians agree that rosé could well be the oldest wine style of all, such is the comparative simplicity of its production when compared to the likes of red wine and sparkling.'' 

Rosé production techniques 

There are three main techniques that are employed to produce rosé wines: 

Skin contact: the wine is left in contact with the skins of red grapes for a short period of time – usually 12-24 hours – which imbues the liquid varying degrees of pigmentation.  

Saignée: French for “bleed”, the saignée method makes use of some of the “bled off” wine removed from the barrels of full-bodied reds in order to make them more concentrated. Saignée rosés are thus much darker and traditionally drier than most other rosés. 

Blending: Finally, a blended rosé is simply a rosé wine made by mixing a white and a red.

Palate perceptions 

Because rosé is a style of wine rather than a particular varietal it can encompass an almost endless amount of tastes. Pink moscato is known for its intense sweetness, while a grenache- or malbec-based rosé will offer a far more full-bodied and drier experience.

Rosé titbits

  • It’s likely that the first wine ever created was a rosé, and if that’s the case then this style is around 9000 years old, predating recorded history by over 3000 years.

  • While most winemaking regions produce rosés as an afterthought, this is not the case for the Provence region in France. If you’re looking to try a world-beating rosé, start your search there.

  • Rosés aren’t meant to be aged. Save your cellar space for fine red wines, and enjoy some nice rosés while your shirazes and cabernet sauvignons age. Because they are relatively simple to make and don’t require aging, rosés are generally far cheaper than reds!

Important information

~Offer ends 3 October 11:59pm (AEST) 2022, or until stocks last. To purchase from Qantas Wine, you must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member, 18 years of age and over and have an Australian delivery address.

#Bonus points available on selected cases only. The selected cases can change at any time and can be found here

+ Qantas Frequent Flyer members who are not Qantas Wine Premium members will earn 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent and Qantas Wine Premium members will earn 3 Qantas Points per dollar spent on Eligible Products and Services purchased through Qantas Points can be earned on cash only purchases and the cash component of Points Plus Pay purchases on eligible products. The earning and redemption of Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Terms and Conditions. Allow up to 6 weeks for Qantas Points to appear in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.

''Available for delivery within Australia only, subject to availability.

**Money-Back Guarantee, Qantas Frequent Flyer members have 90 days from the date of purchase to contact us to arrange the return of the product. If you return a case, you must return it with no more than two bottles opened to be eligible for a refund. Refunds will be for the product price only (not including any delivery charges) and will be processed within 14 days of successful lodgement.

^^Qantas Business Rewards members that have provided an individual Qantas Frequent Flyer number in their Qantas Business Rewards account before making a purchase will earn 2 Qantas Points per dollar spent for the business. The business’ name and individual Qantas Frequent Flyer number linked with the Qantas Business Rewards account must be added at checkout in order to earn points for the business. Qantas Points for the business are earned in addition to the points earned by the individual Qantas Frequent Flyer. Retrospective claims cannot be made.The additional points will be credited to the Qantas Business Rewards account within 30 days of purchase. For more information visit Qantas Business Rewards.

††Points Club members will receive complimentary Qantas Wine Premium membership for the duration of their Points Club membership. Points Club Plus members will receive complimentary Qantas Wine Premium membership, plus an additional 10% discount on marked prices at Qantas Wine on all products, excluding Penfolds, for the duration of their Points Club Plus membership. 10% discount will be applied at checkout and cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or voucher code, except for the Points Club Plus birthday vouchers. To activate the complimentary Qantas Wine Premium membership, Points Club and Points Club Plus members will need to log into and the Qantas Wine Premium membership will automatically be added to their cart and benefits will be applied. For more information on Points Club visit To purchase from Qantas Wine, you must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member, 18 years of age and over and have an Australian delivery address.

All wine brands in the Sustainable Sips program hold Sustainable Winegrowing Australia Certification. Certified wineries have been independently audited against the Australian wine industry sustainability standard. While this means that practices within the winery meet the industry sustainability standard, there is no guarantee that all grapes used to make the wine have been sourced from a certified sustainable vineyard.

Liquor Act 2007: It is an offence to sell or supply to or to obtain liquor on behalf of a person under the age of 18 years.

Licence Number: LIQP770016736

We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, live and fly. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.