The complexities of pink
Rosé wines are made when the skin of red grapes is left in contact with the wine for a short period of time, even a matter of hours. The most common method is maceration, when the grapes are left to rest or macerate in the must, or freshly crushed grape juice, and the final batch is made into rosé wine. The bleeding method, or saignée, describes an early stage of red wine making, when some of the juice is bled off and used to make rosé. This method was borne out of the goal of creating high concentration of colour and tannin in the original red wine and is common in areas like the Napa Valley that specialize in fine reds. And finally, there is the blending method, when a little bit of red wine is literally mixed in with a batch of white. Blending is not common with still rosé wines, but more so with sparkling rosé and champagne.
Crafted with balance
Virtually any red grape can be used to make rosé. But with rosé, all the great chemicals in the grape skins that react and introduce flavour and complexity to red wines are left behind due to the short skin contact with the juice. This can lead to a wine that is lack-ing in character and depth, and the winemaker usually responds by leaving a fair amount of residual sugar in the wine to mask any lack of flavour. For that reason, some dismiss rosé or “blush” wines as excessively sweet, but that’s a mistake. The French, who have been deliberately making fine rosés for centuries, use grape varieties, such as Grenache, that lend themselves to producing a beautiful pink colour while also develop-ing rich, robust flavors. By planning to make rosé, rather than ending up with it by accident, the winemaker can make appropriate decisions about grape maturity, acid and alcohol. Because the flavours are well developed, there is no reason to retain residual sugar; therefore, the majority of true rosés are fairly dry and crisp, with similar depth of character and complexity as any other fine, well-balanced wine.
A sensuous sip
As the winemaker has total control over the length of time of skin contact, the beautiful tints of rosé wine can range from the palest apricot to deeper peach and salmon hues. With its romantic appearance, and flavours of red fruit, flowers, citrus and melon, it’s a wonderful and mood brightening sip. Easily matched to a wide range of foods, or enjoyed on its own, rosé is here to stay.
Sit, sip, savour
Step out of the afternoon sun and enjoy cool refreshment and savoury bites during Hy’s Happy Hour weekdays from 3-7pm. Stay hydrated and nourished with tempting and well-priced treats. Sample a sparkling rosé with all bubbles at 40% off during Happy Hour. The lounge also features live music by some great local performers Wednesday to Friday from 4-8pm. Check out the Happy Hour menu and list of scheduled performers on the Hy’s website here.
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