Rosé wine has erupted as the drink of millennials, sparking the common phrase “rosé all day,” the American National Rosé Day observed every second saturday of June, and even the Rosé Mansion in New York City. Rosé wine ranges in shades of pink, from light pink to salmon to practically red hues. This drink has become commonplace and adored by many, but how is rosé wine actually produced? Hint: it’s not pink grapes

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Isabel Leeds

Behind the Name

Rosé can also be known as pink wine or blush wine, and the term “rosé wine” references color rather than a variety of grape. Rosé wines follow a similar preparation method as fruity white wines, but rosé is instead made with red wine grapes.

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Caroline Ingalls

Blending Red and White Wines

There are a few methods to make rosé, and one is to simply blend a small amount of red wine with white wine although it is a less popular method.

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Shelby Cohron

Limited Maceration Method

The most common way to produce rosé is called the limited maceration method. The winemaker crushes red wine grapes into juice and leaves the juice touching the skin for a short amount of time to create a rosy tint rather than a rich red one. Then the juice is removed from the skins and allowed to ferment, eventually becoming rosé.

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Isabel Leeds

Direct Press Method

Another method to produce rosé is to immediately press the juice after crushing the red wine grapes in order to minimize extraction of the red color. The red wine grapes have a low skin contact time where the red flesh of the skin is only part of the winemaking process for a brief period of time in order to reach the perfect pink shade.

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Alexandra R

Saignée Method

Rosé is also made through the saignée method. The word “saignée” is French “to bleed,” and the saignée method is used for both red and rosé wines. This process is most popular in rosé Champagne produced in the Champagne region of France. In the saignée method, the winemaker removes some juice from the tank in the beginning of fermentation. This extracted juice yields a rosé wine.

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Isabella Nardone

Rosé Tasting Notes

Rosé wine typically expresses fruity flavors like strawberry, citrus and melon, but it also can express floral notes like rose. The type of grape used to produce rosé wine will definitely impact the wine’s flavors, so some rosés may taste earthier, fruitier, or sweeter than others.

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Lisa Russo

Next time you uncork a bottle or crack open a can of rosé, you’ll now understand the variety of preparation methods for this popular drink. Maybe you’ll even impress your friends at the next wine night with this new knowledge! Wine not?