How to choose a prefect bottle of Rosé

by Heidi Chan


Summer Essentials. 

There's nothing better than winding down with a good glass of refreshing summer sipping. Whether you are getting some for self enjoyment or buying for a party, Rosé is a good bet because you can make sure that everyone is treated well with something delicious that won't break the bank. But there are so many, how to choose the right one? Rosé isn't just good as a fruit-forward easy drinking wine, it comes in a variety of styles and they are can be worlds apart, depending on the varietals used and winemaking techniques. Let's get started with:


Moving from a fruit-forward profile towards the bold-savoury end of the wine spectrum, as demonstrated with a few examples here:

Pays d'Oc Rosé

Origin: South of France | Colour: Pale Salmon Pink | Style: Fruity and Rich. South of France is home to a huge number of rosé grape varieties. In Pays d'Oc IGP alone, Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are commonly used to produce fresh wines with pronounced taste of strawberry, offering up a rounded and powerful fruity sensation with a higher percentage of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon used. Try Famille Fabre L'Instant Rose IGP 2014, Pays d'Oc, FranceLa Galope Rose 2014, Cotes de Gascogne, France.

Southern Rhone Rosé

Origin: Southern Rhone | Colour: Deeper colour of ruby red | Style: Fruity. The wines of the Southern Rhone are France's most alcoholic. Grenache is the key component in the blend to deliver aromas of strawberry, raspberry. With the addition of Syrah it adds up notes of white pepper and cherry that gives the wine a funky characteristics, ending with a good length on aromas of plum jam on the palate. Try Bon Remede Oensee Sauvage AOC Ventoux Rosé 2012, Southern Rhone, France

Tempranillo Rosé

Origin: Spain | Colour: Bright Ruby Red | Style: Savoury. This type of rosé is mainly from the Rioja region and across other parts of Spain. It generally tastes a little spicer than the lighter styles of the Rosé family and you can expect some herbaceous notes of watermelon, strawberry and meaty notes that makes it a great accompaniment to almost all summer dishes.  Try Belondrade Quninta Clarisa Belondrade 2011, Rueda, Spain

Grenache Rosé 

Origin: Spain | Colour: Bright Ruby Red | Style: Fruity. Red fruits aromas of ripe strawberry, orange notes. Moderately high in acidity for a refreshing taste. The wine usually has quite a bit of colour and body because of the growing condition in hotter regions, it is best to be served cold to keep them zesty.  Try Bodegas Olimpia Rose 2011, Navarra, SpainHentley Farm Rose 2011, Barossa, Australia

All about the technical bits, there are three primary ways of doing this:

Skin contact - Grape skins play an important role in making a Rosé.  Very much follows the same winemaking process of a red wine, the grapes are crushed and pressed to sit in the juice but for a very short time period. A shorter contact time generally means the lesser extraction of colour pigments and tannins from skins and stems of grapes. The final product gets different shades/hues of the pink colour ranging from a pale onion-skin orange to a vivid more intense colours. Different grape varieties will render a different taste to the wine from lightest to darkest.

Saignée - It is believed that the best Rosé wines are made by the 'saignee' method, even though some people refer Rosé produced by this method as a 'by product'. This winemaking process involved bleeding off a portion of red wine so as to achieve a more concentrated red wine, and the juice bled off are put to make rosé. Saignée wines are fairly rare due to the production method. Syrah rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon rosé are typically made in this method.

Blending - More common with the making of sparkling wines, the red wine portion used to 'dye' the white wine is usually less than 5%.  Pinot Noir is among the most popular in the blended sparkling league, think Champagne.