Rosé (roe-ZAY) A Rosé by Any Other Name Technically, a rosé is an "unfinished red wine," but the term seems so- secondary. Rosé is a different sort of wine, with all the refreshing qualities of a white wine mixed with some characteristics of a red. It can be made from many different grape varietals and in many different regions, the most popular and successful being Southern France, Spain, California & Italy.
Notable Facts Rosé is a wine that goes through the red winemaking process, but is stopped before extracting too many red wine characteristics, a process called saignee. Almost always made from red varietals, the grapes are pressed and the juice sits with the skins for fermentation - but just for a little while - enough time to get a bit of color and a bit of the skin characteristics. Then fermentation continues as a white wine, most often in stainless steel. Rosés are typically ready to drink early - not so much to age. Some popular regions of Rosé are Tavel (an AOC for ONLY rosé wines in the Rhone area of France), other areas of Southern France, Spain, Italy and California. Almost all regions make rosé, and many from different grape varieties (Grenache-based in Spain, France, Australia and South Africa; Sangiovese or Nebbiolo in Italy). Just like red and white wines, rosés can be of different styles - sweet or dry, dark or light - the winemaker and grape variety (or varieties as rosés are often blended) are key. Pink wines have delicious character and are perfect for food. For dryer styles of Rosé, try those from Southern France and Spain, for the sweeter styles, look for White Zinfandel and some other California rosé makers.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Southern France, Spain, Italy, California
Common Descriptors: strawberry, raspberry
Learn More About Bordeaux, France
A few extra appellations:
Bourg & Blaye
These two appellations are just across the Gironde river from the Haut-Medoc – a bit northwest of St-Émilion and its satellites. Bourg is the smaller appellation, nestled under the much bigger Blaye. Both have AC status, Cotes de Bourg AC and Cotes de Blaye AC. One step up on the AOC chain is the Premieres Cotes de Blaye AC, producing excellent red wines. Both regions rely primarily on Merlot, blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and some Cabernet Franc. Whites are allowed here too – usually Sauvignon Blanc, creating dry and pleasant wine.
Listrac & Moulis
These two appellations are situated in the western part of the Medoc, in that they are further inland from their more prestigious neighbor communes like Margaux and Pauillac. In typically Medoc fashion, the wines are based on Cabernet Sauvignon. Due to their location further inland, the soils are dense and retain water, leading to wines that can be more rustic than those wines from communes on the riverbanks. But seek out the good producers, as many bargains are to be had in the Cru Bourgeois of these regions.
Entre Deux Mers is not exactly what it means – between two seas - as technically it's between two rivers. The wines produced in this region, sandwiched between the Garonne & Dardogne rivers, are light and charming and often reasonably priced. The AC of Entre Deux Mers is only for white wines, reds from the region will be listed as Bordeaux AC. Like other Bordeaux whites, wines of the area are made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. Light, crisp, citrus-y and floral, these wines are great summer drinkers.
Bordeaux & Bordeaux Superior
Bordeaux wines that do not fall under a specific appellation are labeled "Appellation Bordeaux" or "Appellation Bordeaux Superieur." The majority of wines made in Bordeaux fall into one of these categories. Wines from these two classifications are made with grapes that come from any appellation within Bordeaux – white or red. Most of the wines are white, and much of the red comes from Entre Deux Mers, where only white wines can bear the namesake appellation on their label. Bordeaux Superior has slightly stricter regulations than the Bordeaux AC.