After the pink has been poured, dazzle your friends with these five rosé-savvy facts.
Say This: It may be all the rage now, but rosé is one of the most ancient wines, dating back thousands of years.
Then Explain: “It’s likely early wines looked like rosé because back then they weren’t separating red and white grapes or leaving the juice to soak with the purple skins,” says Leslie Sbrocco, an award-winning food and wine consultant. “They were just fermented and served. This would have resulted in a lighter-colored, pink-hued wine.”
Say This: Did you know that the darker the rosé, the more it tastes like red wine?
Then Explain: Rosé is “a red wine that’s made like a white wine,” explains Sbrocco. “During the winemaking process, fresh grape juice is briefly exposed to the skin of the red grapes to give it a hint of color. The darker the rosé, the more it resembles red wine: tannic and fuller-bodied. Pale-colored rosés are lighter bodied and more delicate.”
Say This: Hmm, I wonder if this bottle comes from the South of France? You know, Provence is considered the historical home of rosé.
Then Explain: “Rosé is made from different grape varieties (Grenache, Syrah, Pinor Noir, for example) from all over the world, but the majority of pinks Americans drink are made in the South of France,” says Sbrocco. “When buying rosé, stick to the region first and the winery second. Provence-style wines are light and bright, Italian rosés have more body and are usually richer in style. Rosés from the Rioja region in Spain are a fruit bowl of flavors with a strawberry color.”
Say This: Thank goodness this bottle is from 2016. You really don’t want an aged rosé.
Then Explain: “Unlike other wines, vintage — or year the grapes were harvested — has less to do with the quality of rosé. In fact, the younger the the bottle, the fresher it’s going to taste. Go for a young stud!” jokes Sbrocco.
Say This: If it wasn’t for White Zinfandel, people wouldn’t think all pink wines are sweet.
Then Explain: “A lot of people used to think all rosés were sweet and inexpensive because of White Zinfandel,” says Sbrocco. “In the 1970s, Sutter Home winery created a sweeter style of pink wine from red Zinfandel grapes by happy accident. Americans love sweet drinks so they bottled it and it took off becoming wildly popular. That’s why people thought for a long time that if it’s pink, it must be sweet.”
Leslie Sbrocco is an Emmy-award winning TV host and author of Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine and her newest book, Drinking for a Living: How One Woman Created Her Dream Job and So Can YOU. She’s a James Beard award-winner and a frequent Today show guest. http://www.lesliesbrocco.com/about-leslie/
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