A Lifetime of Loving Rose Wines

I am a big fan of Rosé wines and I have been since I started drinking them as a teenager. I grew up enjoying the wines from the Anjou region of France. They were fresh, fruity, dry wines with a crisp acidity. Very pleasant and not real complicated. A great date wine because it paired with a variety of foods, and our pallets were not to sophisticated back then.

The downfall of Rosé wines was, of course, White Zinfandel. As a side note, don’t be too hard on White Zin because without it we would have lost some great old vine Zin vineyards. White Zin is sweet and fruity and the crowd that drinks White Zin is just being weaned off of Coca-Cola and Bud Light. I am a believer that whatever you like to drink is fine as long as you enjoy it and it is worth it to you for what you paid for it. That being said, a large portion of the wine drinking public started out with White Zin and as their pallet became more discerning, they began to appreciate the finer points of drier wines.

Starting in the late 1990’s, Winemakers began experimenting with Rosé again. This came about for 2 reasons. First, people were getting tired of White Zin and wanted something drinkable that could go with food on a warm summer evening. Second, there was a desire to make red wines that were more full bodied but not necessarily more tannic. One way to do this is to extract some of the juice from the beginning of a red wine fermentation and concentrate the remaining extraction from the skins. This technique works well, I have used it on many Reserve level red wines. The problem is then, what to do with the remaining juice that you remove from the fermentation. Ferment it cold, like a white wine, and let it go dry. Because you are using the best fruit in the house for your reserve wines, the resulting wine from the fermented juice will be a higher quality Rosé. The best outlet for this wine is the tasting room and eventually your customers begin to enjoy the wines as much as you do. This is how a re-birth of a wine style, Rosé in this case, can happen.

I love a good Rosé and I am delighted that the public is starting to rediscover and enjoy them also.

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