One of the most recent phenomena I’ve (reluctantly) embraced is this whole “Millennial Pink” trend. For the girl who wouldn’t be caught dead in anything resembling even light red, this has been a real story of overcoming in the past few years (sob story, right?). Alas, it’s become insanely popular, from advertisements to Glossier makeup to the all pink restaurant Pietro Nolita (brb going to check this out ASAP). So when people question the resurgence in popularity of rosé, I always want to respond with a resounding “umm duh” because HELLO it’s freakin millennial pink, the hottest color out there. Also, it’s consistent in quality and (most importantly) cheap. I had a 40 Ounce Rosé today (genius), and it was v good for the price.
Thus, I present to you,
The Rosé How-To Guide:
You, whether you’re the drinker who has rosé all day smoking slippers or you’re a rosé rookie. This is a stupid category, but I did it for consistency’s sake. OK MOVING ON.
Contrary to many theories from a random poll (my friends) about rosé, combining white and red grapes is NOT how you make it. Red grapes only! Rosé could be considered a category, much like “red” or “white”. It simply means “pink wines.”
Synopsis of why rosé is pink:
The skins of a grape are what gives a wine color (white wine is made with green grapes, hence the lack of color). The longer you keep the skins on during fermentation (and the thicker the skins), the darker red the finished product will be. For rosé, skins are left on for a short amount of time (from a few hours to a few days). Here’s an example for you: Pinot Noir grapes have very thin skins whereas Malbec grapes have much thicker skins, so rosé made with Pinot grapes will be paler pink in color than those made with Malbec grapes. It’s all about the skins! [Side note, the more I write the word “skin” the more disturbing it sounds, and I apologize. Side note over.]
Now, rosé can be made with a myriad of grapes: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Grenache, and Malbec are the most popular, but you can literally make rosé with any red grape from anywhere in the world. And for the most part, it’s a blend of multiple red grapes. Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Tempranillo, Cinsault, etc. are other varietals used (more on those soon, I promise).
Drink it as soon as possible! The more recent the vintage, the better the rosé (there are some that are built to age, but those will be pricier and won’t be as “easy summertime rooftop drinking” as ones made to drink now). Don’t be bamboozled by older vintages in liquor stores or on drink menus, *sometimes* they are trying to get rid of the previous vintages before they put out the new ones. Usually, no one’s trying to trick you, but now you, the informed TwentySommthings reader, can be more alert and look out for that. You’re welcome.
Where a rosé comes from will tell you a lot about how it will taste (not always, don’t sue me for making a generalization). For the sake of simplification, you can assume that rosé from the Old World (aka Europe) will be drier (dry = not sweet). New World (aka everywhere not Europe) will most likely be less dry and err on the side of sweet. This is where my major rosé rookie mistake was made. I was given something that was actually a white zinfandel (don’t even get me started on this topic) and the sugary sweet liquid made my head pound more than National Rum Day 2013.
One region you may notice a lot is rosé from Provence. It’s made in southern France with a Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Cinsault blend, and it is fruity, lean, crisp, and very dry. It’s probably the most popular rosé on the market, and for good reason. It’s freaking delicious.
Another fun region to try if you want a more savory and rich style of rosé is Tavel Rosé from the region Côtes du Rhône. It’s super dry and has more body and structure. It’s made with mostly Grenache and Cinsault, though there are usually other grapes mixed in there for good measure. Pairs well with food and adds a little “umph” to your backyard barbecue.
As if you don’t need a reason to drink this pink drink that’s trendy as all get-out, here are a few reasons to drink rosé:
- It’s cheaper than most wines (SCORE). Since its production time is much shorter and less intricate than most wines, it’s cheap to make. Even the “higher end” stuff ranges from $25-$30. Your wallet wants you to drink it.
- You can drink it with food OR drink it by itself. It’s one of the few wines that actually pairs extremely well with a wide range of foods (since it’s made with red grapes, the food doesn’t overpower the wine). I’m not saying it’ll go great with a 12-ounce ribeye, but summer/fall cookouts are definitely a go. It also doesn’t need food for you to enjoy it. It’s not going to destroy your mouth with a tannin attack and won’t leave you gasping for cheese.
- There are many varieties to choose from: whether you like fruity and rich or bold and savory, there’s a rosé for that. Flavor profiles are *usually* written right there on the bottle. Especially at a wine shop, it’s really easy to read the labels (or ask the merchant for a “dry” rosé within your budget).
- Most (normal) people love it, so it’s a perfect summer/fall party companion. Rolling up to rooftop parties with a bottle of rosé is a classic move. Actually knowing about the rosé you’re bringing is an added party trick.
Cold. That’s how you want to serve it (especially the cheap stuff). The fun thing about good rosé, though, is that as it increases in temperature, the flavors and aromas become more pronounced (aka begin to open up). So after you pour everyone a glass, leave it on a table to sweat for a bit (note: do NOT leave it in the sun, that will just make it hot and that’s gro$$).
Pro tip: since there are so many different kinds out there, it’s easy to forget what kind you like. After you drink some, write down the region it’s from and grape varietals if you can, and then write whether you liked it or not. OR just take a picture of the bottle/wine list. That way, when you go into a store or want to order some, you can look back to your list and remember what kind you like.
The last thing I’ll leave you with is to drink it however you freaking want. On a rooftop (probably that one finance friend’s roof with a baller view), in a pool on one of those blow-up swans, at the beach, on your couch watching Frasier, the possibilities are limitless! There’s no need to pull out the fancy tasting swirl and swish (although you totally can, I do it like that because I’m annoying). Rosé is approachable, easy, and trendy. Go forth and Instagram #roséallday as kids these days do (are the kids still doing that? I don’t even know…).
**BLOGGED WHILE SIPPING ON SOME PROVENÇAL ROSÉ…AND WATCHING FRASIER OK WHATEVER DON’T JUDGE**