What is Rosé Wine: Everything You Need to Know

What is Rosé Wine: Everything You Need to Know

It’s a wine with its own national day: The rosé wine. 

The celebration of rosé coincides with the celebration of the rosé flower, both falling on the second week of June.

And if that isn’t enough to make it the most romantic drink on the planet, how about the fact that renowned RnB crooner John Legend loves rosé so much he has created his own brand of the stuff in collaboration with winemaker extraordinaire Jean-Charles Boisset. Here’s Cedar Creek Ranch and Vineyard’s guide to rosé.

Related: How to Choose Wine - The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

The Popularity of Rosè Wine

Legend isn’t the only celebrity in love with rosé. From Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitts’s award winning Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé to Drew Barrymore’s Carmel Road Rosé of Pinot Noir and Bon Jovi’s Diving Into The Hampton Water Rosé, rosé wine is slowly becoming one of the most celebrated wines.

Historically, rosé wine was quite popular in the Mediterranean. The Romans made it even more popular when they started acquiring the “Pink wines of Massalia” or the pink wines of Marseilles, through their trade routes.

But the official home of rosé wine still remains France.

Today, rosé remains popular because it pairs well with almost everything. Its mild aroma perfectly complements meats, soft cheeses, breads, fruits, and vegetable salads.

How Is It Made?

grapes for winemaking

Rosé had for a long time been labeled the not so close cousin of red wine and a distant relative of the white wine. But this wine is a standalone wine, not meant to mimic either white or red. 

The wine is made from blue grapes, the same kind used for making red wine. However, unlike red wine, it does not acquire its color, flavor and aroma from the skin, stems and pits of the grapes. That’s because red wine steeps in the juice for weeks during fermentation, while rosé wine isn’t steeped for as long.

Rosé wine is steeped for a couple of hours to a day depending on the shade of pink desired.

Technically, rosé wine is part of the red wine fermentation process also known as mash fermentation. However, after a few hours or a number of days, some of the wine that is meant to be rosé is removed from the mash and pressed. This leaves only the juice.

The pink juice continues to ferment in a separate tank.

Because the mash fermentation process was interrupted at the beginning, the separated wine has very little of the red color from the grape skins.

Rosé Wine as a Blend 

The first pink wines among the Greeks dating back to 600 AD were a blend of fine red and white wine.  Wine purists don’t categorize such blends as rosé wines. The main difference here is that pink wines like Germany had no contact with the red skin of the grapes.

However, a rosé has had some contact with the grape skins.

Another distinction between rosé and pink wines is that pink wines are blended before the fermentation process begins, while rosé wines are extracted from the red wine fermentation tank mid fermentation. |

In countries like Germany, among others, blending red and white wines after fermentation is illegal.

Check out our finely cultivated wines here.

When to Drink Rosé

rose wine on table

There’s a lot of debate about whether a rosé season actually exists or not. Some people feel that it’s appropriate to drink this kind of wine any time, but connoisseurs of the wine like to associate it with the sun-kissed orchards of France during the summer. 

There may be some truth to this argument because rosé needs to be properly chilled before it is served. A chilled drink is better in the summer than the winter. Even the sales of rosé peak during summer months and fall during the colder months. And while this happens with all types of wines it is more noticeable with this wine.

But then again, rosé is so delicious that it is understandable when many people break the rules regarding its drinking season. A glass of rosé on a chilly Saturday may be just what one needs over a cup of hot cocoa.

Pairing Rosé Wines With Food

Meaty dishes

Steak and smoked meat among other red meats go very well with medium-bodied rosé wines. This rosé has strong undertones of cherry, strawberries and watermelon, and its dry and crisp texture pairs well with the flavors of garlic or olives or anchovies.

Related: Best Wine Pairing with Turkey

Seafood dishes

seafood dish

Seafood already has a distinct flavor that shouldn’t be overpowered, so it is best to pair seafood with a fruity, earthy rosé like Bandol. The fruity taste from this rosé is mainly from the mourvèdre grapes which have a strong personality.

Spicy dishes

Spicy dishes go well with a full-bodied fruity rosé, which is very close to a red wine. One example is the cabernet sauvignon rosé. The fruitiness cuts through the spice to cool the palate without interfering with the distinct taste of the dish.


Desserts need a light rosé like the Cava Rosado, which matches the sweetness of tarts, cakes and muffins. Since dessert is served in smaller quantities, a light wine enriches the experience by adding just a hint of alcoholic flavor.

Barbequed dishes

The Cava Rosado mentioned above is also great with barbequed dishes like barbequed duck or pheasant or grilled rare lamb. This is because the heavy flavor of barbequed meat needs a sweet but dry wine to complement it. This dish can also go well with rosé champagnes like a champagne Brut Rosé, which has a delicate balance of citrus fruits and berries.


cheese plate

A cheese platter deserves its own very light, dry rosé. An Italian Bardolino Chiaretto comes to mind, which cuts into some of the pungent flavor of goat cheese and complements the creaminess of soft cheeses.

Rosé wines seem to win everywhere they go and with good reason. Not only are they soft and pleasant, but they also have an intensity that doesn’t completely overpowering the palate, like some red wines or underperforming white wines do.

Final Takeaway

rose glasses

Rosé wines are certainly delicious, boasting a crisp, mild flavor and easily complemented flavor profile. This early form of red wine is delicate, sweet, and refreshing. Don’t forget to check out our premium selection of fine wines at Cedar Creek Ranch and Vineyards.

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