Friday, March 2, 2012

Blush, Rosé , Pink, and Delicious

 So I know I’m going through my 4 week course with WSET here in Calgary but I had some one ask why pink wines are pink, so I’m going to interrupt my flow again with a quick service announcement.

 There are really only 2 ways that rosé wines are created. One being a strictly controlled skin contact process with the red grape must. This is where grapes are pressed quickly, as to only extract a clear white juice for fermentation. Typically the juice is only left to sit on the must for 12- 48 hours depending on the grape and the amount of colour you wish to extract from it ( light blush to a vibrant pink). The other is to actually blend white and red juice together at some point in the wine making process. That is really winery specific for what they want to achieve with their wine. Also you can blend a pink juice with white juice to achieve the same thing.  

 Typically with a rosé wine you see a rather short maturation time, and typically it’s in stainless steel to help keep the rich fruit flavors in the juice, as it is impenetrable to oxygen. But it can also be done in concrete and oak barrels. The oak will impart vanilla and spices in to a wine, along with softening acids and giving it a bit of micro oxidization, this is where we start to come across rosés that have a creamier and dustier colour.

 I haven’t seen a lot of concrete barrels used but my understanding is that the porous nature of concrete allows a slight blending of vintages through the years. I’ve only ever really heard of this being used in the big robust reds but I don’t see why it wouldn’t have applications in all types of wines

 As the wine ages, either in the barrels or in the bottles, it may change in colour as well. However most rosé wines are bottled and available to consumers at a rather young age, compared to the white and red wines, that this isn’t necessarily applicable. They are sent out young because of their light, fruity and refreshing nature. Too much time and they could start to lose their acids and get dull.


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