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Rosé has been the "it" wine in recent years, and for good reason. Apart from its attractive look, refreshing taste, and sweetness, there is truly a lot more to love about this drink. Read on as we explore and fall in love with rosé wine.

The Growing Popularity of Rosé Wine

Rosé, like reds and whites, is a wine category, not a grape. Unlike other red wines, it ferments with grape skins for a shorter period of time. This gives rosé its distinctive pink color.

Rosé can be made from red grapes in any wine location. It's a relatively new fad in the United States, but Provence has been producing rosé for many years. It has also been very popular in Spain (rosado) and Italy (rosato) for much longer than we may think. 

This pink wine is often prepared from a grape combination. Rosé grapes include grenache, sangiovese, syrah, mourvèdre, carignan, cinsault, and pinot noir. It is occasionally a single-grape variety, while California rosés are made entirely of pinot noir. 

The Production of Rosé Wine 

Rosé acquires its pink hue via skin contact, as grape peel adds color and clear juice to wine when the fruit is crushed. The color of the grape skins is then absorbed by the juice and used to color the wine. This stage is what we call “maceration.”

Rosé is macerated for one day or a few hours by winemakers. The peels are removed when the juice has changed color, and the juice is fermented. 

Rosés have various pink colors due to different maceration procedures. Rosé is rarely made by blending red and white wine, contrary to popular belief! 

The Taste of Rosé Wine 

Rosé is light and refreshing, like a vibrant, deep grenache crimson. Rosé has a flavor profile of berries, flowers, citrus fruits, melon, and celery. It can also be savory, dry, or sweet, depending on the grapes used.

The majority of rosés are dry. Rosés are typically dry. European rosés are sweeter and more fruity than New World rosés. Climate and production practices are also factors.

Popular sweet rosés include White Zinfandel, White Merlot, and Pink Moscato. Meanwhile, dry rosé grapes include Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir.

The Rosé Meal Pairings

Rosé complements food wonderfully. This wine goes well with spicy dishes, sushi, salads, grilled meats, roasts, and robust sauces. 

  • Light and Dry 

Light and dry roses from Provence, Burgundy, and the Loire Valley pair beautifully with salads, pasta, rice, grilled fish, and seafood. 

  • Medium Dry 

Rosés that are medium-dry, such as pinot noir, pair well with the aforementioned or fruity dessert wines. 

  • Medium-Bodied 

The medium-bodied rosés of Southern France and Spain have strong flavors that stand out and are best paired with anchovies, paella, grilled chicken, herb-seasoned lamb, and charcuterie.

  • Fruity 

Fruity rosés from California, Australia, or Chile complement curries, grilled salmon and tuna, and brie. Take, for example, ripe peaches. 

  • Champagne

Rosé Champagne complements lobster, lamb chops, and game. Sparkling rosés compliment sweets and fruit tarts. 

Finding the Balance with Rosé: Temperature, Serving Glass, Decanting 

  • Temperature

Rosé should be served at 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to most sommeliers. Chill the rosé bottles in the refrigerator (or an ice bucket) for several hours. This will improve the flavor.

  • Serving Glass 

Rosé is perfect for outdoor occasions like picnics, rooftop parties, and patio parties.

Some experts advise serving rosé in smaller, tulip-shaped Champagne glasses to keep wine chilled and flavorful. Rosé wine glasses are available, but they are not necessarily necessary. 

  • Decanting 

Decanting wine improves its flavor by introducing oxygen. Rosé does not require decanting, but it can be done by your preference.


Traditionally a summer wine, rosé is a bright, pleasant, and fruity drink that is great for all seasons. This blush-colored favorite is popular due to its appealing color and its ability to satisfy almost any wine drinker because of its taste and many possible food pairings. A chilled rosé is a bottle of heaven, whether you enjoy it dry or sweet, with food or on its own.

Do you want to try rosé in a tasting room in Paso Robles? Sea Shell Cellars produces a stellar collection of wines for all your special occasions, for every season. Browse our website today!

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