You are lost in front of the huge fuchsia pink ray of your favorite big surface, you don't know which one to choose? More or less enticing labels, bottles of pale pink, salmon pink or barbie pink, the immensity of choice that is available to you only results in leaving you stunned. And you had a migraine for two days the last time you opted for a rosé.
That's a shame, so let us give you some keys to decipher the nebulous world of rosé.
First, let's cut short this very popular idea that a good rosé must necessarily have an extremely pale colour, so that at first glance you might almost think it's water. Colour is not a guarantee of quality, especially since there are techniques to modify it during vinification! However, it does provide valuable information on the origin of the wine and the processes used to make it.
A very pale rosé (peach, lychee) will most likely be a "direct pressing" rosé. This means that the grapes are pressed directly after harvesting, which allows a slight extraction of the pigments present in the skin of the berries (the skin of the grapes).
Direct pressing rosés are rather light and fresh, with very low tannins. This is the case for most rosé wines from Provence. They are to be consumed fairly quickly: two years maximum. Beyond that, they may lose their radiance and freshness.
These very light rosé wines will perfectly accompany your aperitifs, fish and seafood. They are to be served at around 9-10°C.
A darker rosé (fuchsia, redcurrant) will most likely be a so-called "bleeding" rosé. This method consists in macerating the juice for several hours in contact with the berries' skins. It is then more or less coloured depending on the maceration time. These wines are less sensitive to oxidation than direct pressing rosé wines and will therefore have a superior ageing potential. You can eat three- or four-year-old bleeding rosés without too much fear.
Among them are the generous wines of Tavel where Grenache dominates, the Bandols where Mourvèdre gives structure and spicy notes, or the Bordeaux Clairets, with red fruit aromas. They are more powerful and aromatic than direct pressing rosés, and will be perfect with a barbecue or delicatessen. Serve between 10 and 12 °C.
Looking for a fresh and refreshing wine to accompany your aperitif or simply your late afternoon by the pool? Go on a Rosé de Provence: Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence or Coteaux Varois en Provence. And if you want a slightly more fruity, more complex wine, move to Languedoc and opt for a Pic-Saint-Loup rosé.
If you are looking for a fruity and slightly sweet rosé, do not hesitate to choose a rosé wine from the Loire Valley such as a Rosé d'Anjou or a Cabernet d'Anjou (really sweet).
Looking for a more full-bodied wine, with more taste but dry? Go for a Bordeaux Clairet, a Bergerac, a Gaillac, a Marsannay, a Bandol, a Tavel, or even a Rosé des Riceys, a still wine (without bubbles) from the Champagne appellation.
By the way, did you know that Champagne is the only place in France where it is allowed to make rosé by mixing white and red wine? The rosé Champagne comes from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier (red grape varieties) and Chardonnay (white grape variety) vinified separately.
So, whether it is garnet, cherry, raspberry, coral, salmon, lychee... you will necessarily find your happiness with a rosé wine!