The best place to start when trying a Rose is to find one made from your favorite red wine grape, and you will have a Summer Sister, one to enjoy with the light foods of summer. It will have some similar characteristics.
Rose’ wines are made from a variety of grapes, thus giving a variety of flavors. Rose’ wines are made mostly from red grapes, however sparkling Rose’ often have a bit of white in them. The color comes from leaving the skins in the juice for a bit. The shorter the contact time with the skins the lighter in color. Historically a Rose’ wine is off-dry to dry, however some are now being made sweeter. Most European Rose’ wines are dry in style.
All Rose’ wines tend to be a subtle version of their red wine variety and the flavors of strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some citrus on the finish are common. These wines are served cold and a perfect for the lighter food of summer but can still stand up to a hearty piece of meat.
So, if you haven't tried a Rose' wine, now if the perfect time to grab a bottle, chill it, and enjoy in the warmth of the sun.
Here are a few basic flavor profiles:
Provence Rose’ – Fruity. This is an all-encompassing term. These Rose’ are made commonly from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. All are light crisp, minerally and dry in style with strawberry, watermelon flavors, and floral hints.
Grenache – Fruity. Strawberry, orange, floral and a hint of allspice, typically acidic. A typical Provence Rose is made from this grape or this grape blended with others.
Pinot Noir – Delicately Fruity. Strawberry, orange and lemon zest, watermelon, cherry and celery. Typically, dry in style with delicate aromas and flavors. Beautiful wine.
Sangiovese – Fruity. Cherry, wild strawberry, raspberry, clove and allspice. A typical Italian rose’ is made from this grape, they filled with red fruit flavors and hints of spice.
Syrah – Savory. White cherry, white pepper, lime zest, and cherry. The boldest roses are made with Syrah and are typically fruity with a noticeable flavor of lime zest.
Tempranillo – Savory. Herbal flavors, watermelon, and strawberry. Many of these Rose’s are blended with Grenache.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Savory. Green pepper, cherry, black currant and spice. These are typically more acidic than others.
Zinfandel – Sweet. Strawberry, cotton candy, lemon, and melon. This is what 'White Zin' is made from. However, I have found some Zinfandel based Rose’ wines that are not sweet but are very Fruity in flavor with a hint of sweet.