You are lost in front of the huge fuchsia pink ray of your favourite department store, you don't know which one to choose? More or less teasing labels, pale pink, salmon pink or barbie pink bottles, the vastness of choice available to you only leaves you flabbergasted. And you had a migraine for two days the last time you chose a rosé.
It's a shame, so let us give you some keys to decipher the nebulous world of rosé.
First of all, let's cut short this very fashionable idea that a good rosé must necessarily have an extremely pale colour, so that at first sight one could almost think that it is water. Colour is not a guarantee of quality, especially as there are techniques to modify it during vinification! However, it does provide valuable information on the origin of the wine and the processes used in its production.
A very pale rosé (peach, lychee) will most likely be a "direct pressing" rosé. That is to say that the grapes are directly pressed after being harvested, which allows a slight extraction of the pigments present in the berry skin (the skin of the grapes).
Direct pressing rosés are rather light and fresh, with very little tannin. This is the case for most of the rosés of Provence. They should be consumed fairly quickly: two years maximum. Beyond that, they risk losing their brilliance and freshness.
These very clear dews will go wonderfully with your aperitifs, fish and seafood. They should be served at around 9-10°C.
A darker rosé (fuchsia, redcurrant) will most likely be a "bleeding" rosé. This method consists of macerating the juice for several hours in contact with the skins of the berries. It is then more or less coloured according to the time of maceration. These wines are less sensitive to oxidation than direct pressing rosés and therefore have a superior ageing potential. You can consume three or four year old bleeding rosés without too much fear.
Among them are the generous Tavel wines where Grenache dominates, the Bandols to which Mourvèdre gives structure and spicy notes, or the Bordeaux Clairets, with red fruit aromas. They are more powerful and more aromatic than direct pressing rosés, and will be perfect with a barbecue or cold meats. Serve between 10 and 12 °C.
Would you like a fresh and thirst-quenching wine to accompany your aperitif or simply your late afternoon by the pool? Enjoy a Rosé de Provence: Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence or Coteaux Varois en Provence. And if you want a slightly fruitier, more complex wine, move to the Languedoc and opt for a Pic-Saint-Loup rosé.
If you are looking for a fruity and slightly sweet rosé, don't hesitate to choose a rosé wine. of the Loire Valley like a Rosé d'Anjou or a Cabernet d'Anjou (really sweet).
Do you want a fuller-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? Champagne rosé comes from cuvees of 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're sure to find what you're looking for with a rosé wine!