The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and summer is here: rosé season is upon us!
Yes, rosé a French word — but at heart, it’s an Italian wine. Named for their rosy colour, true rosés are designed for hot sunny days and warm starry nights. Each sip is crisp, semi-sweet, and refreshing. Ranging from pale orange to blushing pink to nearly violet, each wine’s colour is drawn from the grape varietals and vinification.
We’ll toast to that!
In Italy, the majority of rosés are blends of familiar red-wine varietals, such as Sangiovese, Barbera, Freisa, Nebbiolo, and more. The wine is produced according to saignée, a short-maceration method in which the grapes are lightly crushed and left to rest with the skins for as few as six hours or as long as three days before being fermented. Red wine undergoes a similar process but with a longer maceration process. The longer the wine macerates with the grapes’ skins, the darker and more tannic the rosé will be.
(Note: we know that you know that rosé wine is not made by blending red and white wine together, but it must be said. In fact, the European Union declared that practice illegal in 2009, to the cheering of Italian winemakers. Tell your friends.)
Like all “Italian” food and drink, the style of rosé hinges on the region: the northeastern Veneto is known for sweeter, more delicate rosés, while the southwestern Calabria produces drier, more full-bodied rosés.
Typically served chilled, rosés are the perfect wines for spring and summer. With the refreshing quality of white and the body and structure of red, this versatile wine complements a range of dishes. For a delightful aperitivo, pair a sparkling, northern rosé with creamy cheeses, cured meats, or fritto misto (fried seafood). Rosés can also stand up well to main courses; serve a bold, southern rosé with roasted chicken, grilled pork, or stewed fish.
And unlike red wine, rosé does not improve with age, so enjoy immediately! Best enjoyed in the company of your fling for the summer.