I’m back today with a new episode of my 3.5 minute wine school, what you need to know about rosé
Watch more episode of Julien’s WIne School to learn more about vino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIwsqlrJzd8&list=PLd_ydU7Boqa1UnY8sHvy2UD6LFgnpXQ7a
Video content (transcription)
I sort of launched this concept of short educational yet digestible videos about wine, but my Julien’s wine school videos tend to be longer than that, because I always try to bring in more info and value, and it takes time. But today, I want to keep it tight and short, and briefly talk, because it’s summer, about a simple aspect of wine, which is how rosé is made. We’ll discuss how rosé is usually made from red grapes, and whether or not it can be made from mixing red and white grapes. Let’s go, 3 minutes and a half Julien’s Wine School video, or so… I think it’s going to take more like 5 minutes but hey, really hard to bring in real value in 3 minutes. Let’s see…
Rosé is usually made using red grapes, how?
Yes, let’s get to the point. Rosé wine, in most cases, is made using 100% grapes. How?
As you probably know, the juice of a grape berry, the inside of it, what we call the ‘pulp’ is white, no red color in it, even in a red grape. You can see that if you split a grape berry, the inside is white, or say green.
To make red wine, the pulp, the juice is fermented together with the skins, which gives red wine a lot of color and also tannins that are also in the skins.
For Rosé, the skins are soaked just a little bit into the juice so as to just get a little bit of coloring into it, a light pink color. Often this coloring just happens as you press the grapes, inside the press, the skins release a little bit of color into the juice, and you get rosé wine. If you want a more intense pink, you can let those skins soak in the juice a little longer, say a few hours, and then press and extract the darker pink juice. Simple. From there, the rosé juice is fermented and made just like a white wine, it’s just that it has some red pigments in it. Is this clear? Let me know in the comments…
Is it possible to make rosé using white grapes?
The simple answer is yes, and no. Lol.
In Europe, it is forbidden by law to do that, because European regulations when it comes to winemaking are very strict, and they don’t like winemakers to mess around with that sort of things which could result in frauds or at least misleading consumers. So from Europe, you don’t get rosé made mixing red and white grapes, with one notable exception, and that’s rosé Champagne, which is most of the time blended from Chardonnay with Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier, but that’s a sparkling rosé, not a rosé per se.
Now, in the rest of world, because generally winemakers want to do things well, and not confuse consumers too much either, a lot of rosés are made just like in Europe, with red grapes. But, it is allowed to make it using red and white grapes, in the US for example. So some, usually cheap rosés or blush wine are going to be made this way. The only way to know, is to look up the blend from the winery if they make it available and check if there’s any white grapes in there.
And I’ll finish by saying that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have some white grapes in a rosé, if it’s a deliberate choice from the winemaker to add little touch of something different in a blend, a dash of grassy sauvignon blanc for example, or a deliberate style they’re looking for. If they and you enjoy it, why not. But it’s something that you must have in mind so you don’t feel betrayed or deceived when you learn your rosé is a ‘colored’ white wine. It does exist. And I actually made a video to illustrate exactly this, how you can transform a white wine into a rosé by adding just a little bit of red wine to it. So if that interests you, go and watch this right now, it’s kind of the continuation of this video. I also made a video a little while ago in Provence about how rosé is made there in France, that you can also watch. Thanks for watching, fell free to share this video to support, and I will see you soon, in the wonderful world of wine.