Ask Missa: Rosé Edition
Written by Alyson Aiello on June 20, 2018
If you’re a wine lover, like us, the arrival of summer has you thinking PINK! We sat down with our Director of Sommology, Missa Capozzo, to talk about our favorite pink drink, rosé. In this edition of Ask Missa, you will learn how rosé came to fame, the factors that influence rosé, and Missa’s can’t-miss tips on how to pair a dry French rosé, like our 2017 Three Hearts, for the ultimate rosé experience.
Rosé has secured its place as “the” drink of summer. How did it rise to fame in the states?
When many Americans think of rosé, their first thought is the sweeter styled white zinfandel, which was discovered by Bob Trinchero with Sutter Home in 1972, quite by accident while experimenting with the zinfandel grape! Visitors of the tasting room found a fondness for the resulting wine, and the masses demanded more production. He ramped up production in 1975 when, for reasons unknown, the fermentation stopped at around 2% residual sugar, leaving a noticeable sweetness. People loved the resulting product, and white zinfandel became extremely popular over the following decades.
The one, perhaps unfortunate, result of the rise of white zinfandel and its style is that Americans tend to assume that all rosés or pink wines are sweet, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dry rosés are the norm all over the world, including France, Italy, and Spain. Someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy a sweeter style rosé wine such as white zinfandel would very likely find much enjoyment in the drier styles that are available.
What are the factors that influence a rosé?
There are many factors that influence a rosé, including grape variety, region and terroir in which the grapes are grown, winemaking styles, techniques, traditions, and, of course, market demand. For instance, the rosés of Provence are typically made by the direct press method, which involves gently pressing the grapes and collecting the juice after it has had only about 1-4 hours macerating on the skins, resulting in a very pale-colored, light and fresh style of rosé. In many other regions of France such as Tavel, however, it is more popular to use the saignée method of production, which allows the juice to macerate for 8-24 hours, then bleed off the skins to be fermented into rosé. This results in a deeper color, fuller body, and more aromatic wine than the direct press method.
What are some general food pairing tips when it comes to a dry rosé, like our 2017 Three Hearts?
Typically speaking, dry rosés pair quite well with lighter weight foods and summer fare, such as salads, seafood, grilled chicken, grilled vegetables, and an array of salty cheeses and snacks. Adding fresh red berries and fruit really brings its fruit flavors to the forefront. Think fresh strawberries in your salad! Or, make a nice charcuterie board containing an array of meats, cheeses, crackers, nuts, and berries for a variety of textures and flavors. Rosé is typically served mildly chilled and makes for a refreshing sipper during the warmer summer months.
Ready to rosé all day? Discover our new 2017 Three Hearts, an exquisite wine released in collaboration with wine expert Leslie Sbrocco.
Do you have a wine question for Missa? Send it our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.