What Is Rose Wine? 5 Important Facts

Roses are red, violets are blue, and French Rosé is a red wine with a pink hue. Rosé is an enchanting wine that has a lot to offer. From its origins, how it’s produced and the variety of grapes used to its different types and flavours, we can say that Rosé is ultimately unique and attractive to drink in many ways. 

Here are some essential facts about Rosé.


Rosé wine traces its roots in Ancient Greece

According to historical accounts, it was the ancient Greeks and Roman winemakers who first produced Rosé. Red and white grapes were combined and crushed by the workers using their feet. The juice will be fermented using ceramic containers resulting in dry, tannic and hard wine. Therefore, the wine was diluted to make it less harsh and light-coloured, which was preferred by many during that period. It was in the 6th century BC when grape vines were brought to Southern France.

In today’s modern winemaking, there are 3 primary methods of making Rosé


Maceration refers to the method of letting the red wine grapes rest, allowing the grape skin to touch the juice from 6 to 48 hours. The result is a darker-coloured wine and the flavour is richer. Maceration is the most popular method in making Rosé, especially in the Provence region.


Pronounced as “San-yay”, this method is known as ‘bleeding’ since it intentionally starts as a process to produce red wine before separately making it into Rosé. The juice is bled off during the maceration process. This method is commonly used in Napa and Sonoma.


In the blending method, red wine is blended with white wine to make Rosé. The region of Champagne uses this method. 


Rosé is a blend of different grape types


A variety of different grape types are used to make a Rosé. The commonly used grapes for Rosé are:

  • Pinot Noir
  • Sangiovese
  • Grenache
  • Syrah
  • Mourvedre
  • Cinsault
  • Carignan 

The process of making Rosé is similar to red and white wine. The fermentation follows the process of red wine while fermented at the temperature when making white wine. 


The grape skin is responsible for Rosé’s iconic pink hue

It was acceptable to blend red and wine grapes in the old times. However, in today’s modern winemaking process, it has become prohibited in many regions as it may lower the quality of the wine. When the crushed grapes turn into juice, the leftover grape skin is what makes the liquid turn pink. The longer the juice is exposed to the grape skin, the darker it becomes.


There are many different types of Rosé

Because of the different methods used to make Rosé, winemakers have become unstoppable in creating and exploring different blends and styles to enjoy across all seasons. Here are 5 most popular Rosé wines:



The region of Provence dedicates 91% of its vineyards to Rosé. Provençal is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cynsault grapes. The result gives a pale pink hue with light, fruity and soft flavours that match any dish. It has a strawberry, watermelon and rose petal aroma.

Syrah Rosé

This savoury Rosé is made with Syrah (or Shiraz), championed by the region of Rhône Valley in France and Australia. Notes of pepper, olive, strawberry and cherry are found in this  Rosé type. It pairs perfectly with barbecue, vegetable and pasta dishes.

Sangiovese Rosé

Sangiovese is widely produced in Italy. Also known as Rosato in the region, Sangiovese Rosé has medium-dry sweetness with earthy flavours and high acidity. It has a copper-red colour with notes of fruity flavours such as strawberry, sweet cherries and green melon. This wine is best paired with Asian-inspired dishes and chicken.

Tempranillo Rosé

Tempranillo Rosé hails from the Rioja region in Spain. Locally known as Rosado, this type of Rosé has notes of raspberry, strawberry, white flowers and peppercorn. The best foods to pair with Tempranillo Rosé are tomato-based pasta and pizza, Mexican foods such as tacos and nachos, and grilled meats and smoky dishes.

Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

The primary method used to make Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé is Saignee. It has a deep ruby-red colour that it’s almost mistaken for red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé has flavours of green bell pepper, black currant and cherry. It's best paired with grilled meat and fish.


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