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 Portugal
The country best known for Port,
Madeira and corks is often overlooked when consumers think of red and white still
wines – but take note! The table wines of the region have improved dramatically in the past few decades. The
winemaking areas trickle down the country's narrow shape, bordered by the Atlantic on the west and Spain on the east.
Furthest to the north lies the region Minho, which produces the slightly spritzy white wine, Vinho Verde. Translated,
it means green wine, not because the wine is green, but because it is meant to be drunk in its youth. Vinho Verde is a
light, refreshing wine, low in alcohol and with a slight spritz. It can be made with a number of grapes, but the best
whites are made with Alvarinho (yep, same as Spain's Albarino). Red Vinho Verde exists too, but not on the export market.
For other red table wines, the three most common regions are the Douro, Dao, Bairrada and Alentejo.
In the Douro, home of Port, red wines are made from a few grape varieties including the primary port grape, Touriga
Nacional as well as Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo). Still red wines from the area are good quality and contain fruity,
spicy notes. The Dao and Bairrida areas use Port grapes and the local tempranillo and make high quality, good value
red wines. Bairrida also makes a few sparklers. Alentejo is a super big and super hot region in the south of
Portugal making reds and whites.