About the Rose Wines
often referred to as Blush wines or written Rosé,
are wines which are not truly red, but have enough of a reddish tinge to make them assuredly not white. The actual color varies depending on the grapes involved, and often may seem to be more orange than pink or purple. Rose wines may be produced in a number of different ways, depending on the desired results. Most Rose wines
are the result of crushing the red grapes used rather early on, so that they are not able to impart their color – or much tannin – to the final wine. These wines are in most respects white in character and flavor, with only the tinge of red and some subtle taste differences belying the difference.
In the past, it was fairly common to make Rose wines
by simply taking a white wine and adding a bit of red wine to it. Some winemakers thought this could produce interesting wines that possessed some of the hearty character of a red wine while retaining the crispness of many whites. This practice has fallen out of vogue, even in Champagne where it was once quite respected.
are generally sneered at by wine connoisseurs, but many people find their crispness and lightness very refreshing in hot weather, leading to them being often referred to as summer wines. Styles vary widely, but in general, a Rose wine is much simpler than a true heavyweight white or red wine – even if made from the same grapes. European Rose wines are generally dry, while Rose wines
from the United States are generally sweet. Sometimes, this distinction is highlighted by referring to sweet Rose wines as Blush.
One of the most popular Rose wines
in recent years is the White Zinfandel so popular in California. Rather than being made by blending red and white wine, or by crushing grapes before the color has time to leech into the wine, White Zinfandel is the result of a practice in the production of Zinfandel known as bleeding. When bleeding a red Zinfandel, winemakers often take away an ample quantity of liquid so that the resulting wine is stronger and more concentrated – this lighter, less tannic remainder is then packaged and sold as a wine in its own right: White Zinfandel.
After a lengthy period of declining popularity, it seems that Rose wines
may again be on the rise around the world. Pockets of enduring popularity in regions of France and Spain have ensured the survival of some quality makers of Rose wine,
and now that the social prohibition against Rose is diminishing, many consumers in England and the United States are turning once again to this summertime favorite.
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