Rosé all day: discovering the diversity and delight of pink wine
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Rosé all day: discovering the diversity and delight of pink wine

Rosé wine is more than just a beverage; it's a celebration of flavor, craftsmanship and conviviality.

(Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay)
(Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay)

In the realm of wines, there exists a drink that effortlessly blends elegance with accessibility, sophistication with approachability — the beloved rosé. This pink-hued nectar has carved out a special place in the hearts (and glasses) of wine enthusiasts worldwide, transcending seasons and trends with its versatile charm.

Rosé wine traces its roots to ancient winemaking traditions, where it was likely one of the earliest styles produced. Historically, it gained popularity in regions such as Provence in France, where it continues to flourish today. Traditionally made through a process of maceration, where red grape skins are left in contact with the juice for a short period, rosé wines vary in shade from pale salmon to vibrant coral, each hue offering a hint of what’s to come.

The making of the versatile rosé
While there are several methods to produce rosé, the most common involve limited contact between grape skins and juice to achieve the desired color and flavor profile. The result?
A wine that captures the essence of both red and white varietals — a delicate balance of fruitiness, acidity and often a touch of floral or herbal notes, depending on the grape varieties used.

One of rosé’s most endearing qualities is its versatility. It’s not just a summer sipper; it pairs effortlessly with a wide array of foods, making it an ideal companion from picnics to fine dining. Crisp and refreshing, a chilled glass of rosé complements fish, salads and cheeses with equal aplomb. Its ability to bridge the gap between red and white wines makes it a crowd-pleaser at gatherings where preferences vary.

As I have written in the past, kosher wine adheres to specific production guidelines supervised by a rabbi to ensure its purity and suitability for consumption. This meticulous process extends to kosher rosé, where the careful selection of grapes and precise winemaking techniques contribute to its quality and character.

A tour through pink wine’s diverse grape palette
Rosé wine, with its captivating pink hues and refreshing profiles, owes much of its charm to the variety of grapes used in its production. Each grape varietal lends its own unique characteristics, influencing the color, flavor and aroma of the final wine. Let’s delve into some of the most prominent grape varieties used to craft this beloved pink drink:

Grenache/Garnacha: Found in regions like Provence, Spain and Australia, grenache-based rosés offer crisp acidity, with the flavors of strawberries and citrus, perfect for festive meals and celebrations. Capcanes Peraj Petita Rosat 2023

Syrah/Shiraz: Commonly found in Australia, the Rhone Valley and California, syrah-based rosés boast fuller bodies, red berry flavors and subtle spice notes, ideal for pairing with savory dishes. Gilgal Rose 2023

Mourvèdre: Predominantly found in Spain and Provence, mourvèdre contributes deep color and savory complexity to rosé, complemented by ripe red fruit and herbal nuances. Chateau Josephine Pink Semi-Sweet NV

Cinsault: Widely used in South Africa and Provence, cinsault rosés feature delicate pink hues and fresh fruity flavors such as watermelon and strawberry, with floral undertones. Chateau D’esclans Whispering Angel Kosher Rose’ 2022

Pinot Noir: Hailing from California, New Zealand and Champagne, pinot noir rosés are known for their elegance, showcasing aromas of strawberries, raspberries and creamy textures. Goose Bay Pinot Noir Rose 2021

Sangiovese: Primarily from Italy, Sangiovese rosés offer bright acidity, cherry flavors and a hint of herbs, making them a delightful accompaniment to Mediterranean cuisine. Cantina Giuliano Rosato 2023

Zinfandel: Known as white zinfandel in California, zinfandel rosés are fruity with berry and watermelon flavors, appealing for those who prefer sweet wines. Baron Herzog White Zinfandel 2023

Merlot: Found globally, rosés made with merlot are smooth with flavors of ripe strawberries and cherries, balanced by gentle acidity. Merlot might be the most versatile grape used in the production of rosé. Yaffo Rosé 2023

Tempranillo: From Spain, tempranillo rosés showcase deep colors, red berry flavors, citrus notes and a structured profile, ideal for festive gatherings. Netofa Latour Rosado 2021

Cabernet Sauvignon: Found worldwide, cabernet sauvignon rosés are robust with aromas of blackcurrant, cherry and hints of mint, offering complexity and depth. Dalton Estate Rosé 2023

Israel produces rosé in some capacity with all of these varietals.

Rosé wine is more than just a beverage; it’s a celebration of flavor, craftsmanship and conviviality. Whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or a curious newcomer, there’s a rosé waiting to be discovered — a testament to the enduring allure of this timeless pink drink.

So, the next time you raise a glass of rosé, take a moment to appreciate its journey from vineyard to table, and toast to the joy of indulging in life’s simple pleasures — sip by sip, in the company of good wine and even better company. L’chaim to rosé! PJC

Uriel Marcovitz is a former restaurateur in Pittsburgh. He studies wine with the Court of Master Sommelier and holds advanced-level sommelier status.

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