What Is Rosé Wine?

Updated on December 7, 2019
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I love drinking different types of wine, but rosé is one of my favorite varieties to drink.

A Sampling
A Sampling | Source

The Process of Making Rosé Wine

Rosé wine is not a mix of white and red wine. I know! I thought it was too. Rosé wine is wine made from red grapes, but the process is faster and a little less intense than making red wines.

There are several ways to process the red grapes into this wine. One process is the maceration method. Crushed grapes rest in their juices than winemakers strain the liquid, and this is the rosé wine.

Depending on the grape, winemakers will strain the liquid in a few hours or a day. The longer the mixture soaks, the darker the pink color.

Any grapes can produce rosé wine. Red grapes are clear on the inside and produce colorless juice. Soaking with the crushed skins creates the coloring.

Another method winemakers use to produce rosé wine is the Saignée method. Instead of pressing than separating the pulp from the liquid, the Saignée method uses the leftover wine that is bled off during the fermentation process of full-bodied red wines. Saignée is the bled off wine. Rosé wine is fermented bled-off red wine. This variety of rosé tastes richer then macerated red wines. Both types are excellent.

Video Explanation of How the Wine Is Made

Dry Rosé Wine

Rosé wines do not have to be sweet. International winemakers from Spain and France create delicious dry wines created with a blend of grapes.

Here are some grapes that produce dry varieties:

  • Grenache grapes have a strawberry-raspberry flavor with soft hints of white pepper. It has low tannins and color. Because of this quality, These grapes make excellent rosé wines. Mixing this grape with other red wine grapes, such as Syrah, produces traditional red wines.
  • Sangiovese grapes taste like strawberries with a hint of spice.
  • Syrah grapes have dark skins, but the juices give off a slight blackberry taste. These spicier grapes have a hint of black pepper.
  • Mourvedre grapes make port wines as well as rosés.
  • Pinot Noir taste of berries: strawberry, raspberry, and cherries. The skin is very dark.

French Rosé Wine from the Pay d'oc region
French Rosé Wine from the Pay d'oc region | Source

Sweet Rosé Wine

To produce a sweet or a semi-sweet rosé wines, grapes are not soaked in the liquid as long. The juice will have fewer tannins, and tannins increase the dryness in wines. Rosé wines are sweeter naturally because of the low tannins.

Rosé Wine Kits

Want to try your hand at making your own wine? Did you know there are rosé winemaking kits? One thing to check out when buying a kit is to look at how long it takes to make the wine. It does not take very long. I have used kits that produce wine in as little as one week, and I've also tried kits that take 30 days. My opinion is that the 30-day kits taste a little better.

Cost and Age

The good news is rosés do not take years to make, so the cost is lower. In fact, they do not age well, like some red wines. These types of wines are best young. Good quality rosés are not expensive, and it is a good idea to drink them sooner, rather than later.

The Colors, Shades, and Hues

There are many winemaking descriptions and color is one of them. Here are some of the colors you will see describing them:

  • Salmon
  • Strawberry-Grapefruit
  • Blush
  • Pale-Rose
  • Grayish-Pink
  • Melon
  • Peachy

Rosé Wine Carbs and Calories

Rosé wines have more carbs and calories than most dry reds and white wines. Dry wines have very little sugar. Rosés naturally contain more sugar per bottle, which is effectively 1.5 to 5.5 carbs per glass. The extra sugar means a few more additional calories also. A glass of this wine carries 95 to 125 calories depending on the amount and the brand.

To lighten up the calories and carbs make a spritzer. Mix 50/50 wine and seltzer or sparkling water.

Food and Pairing

Rosé wine's light flavor allows it to pair perfectly with many foods; for example, salads, creamy pasta, fish, chicken, lamb, and rice dishes. It matches well with fruit such as crisp pears and apples and cheese, like goat or feta. Because the wine is not overpowering, it really can be combined with anything from grilled beef to chili.

Try this easy goat cheese appetizer.

  • Half figs and press goat cheese inside each half.
  • Drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar.
  • Broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes to heat and melt together. Keep an eye on them. They can burn quickly.

Fig and Cheese Appetizers
Fig and Cheese Appetizers | Source

Dessert Pairing

I think this wine is more versatile for desserts because of its lighter tastes. Some good dessert pairings are:

  • Lemon cakes, cookies, or bars. The citrus flavor pops with the rose wine. The drier wines are better suited, but if you prefer the sweeter roses, go for it!
  • Dark chocolate desserts. Deep chocolate cakes, chocolate ice cream, or small chocolate truffles melt with this soft wine. The sweet and dry rosés pair well.
  • Fruit and cheesecake. Strawberries go exceptionally well with cheesecake and rosé wine, but if you do not have strawberries, any fruit will do or try a chocolate cheesecake. Yum! The drier wines pair well with creamy cheesecakes.

Rosé Wine Cocktails

Wine cocktails make light, refreshing drinks. Be sure to chill the wine first to get the full flavor.

Rosé Wine Spritzer

  • 50/50 blend of rosé wine and club soda

Sparkling Rosé Cocktail

  • 50/50 blend of rosé wine and lemon-lime soda

Rosé Wine Sangria
This recipe is versatile. You do not have to measure anything but here are some guidelines. Use any combination of sliced up citrus fruit: oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruit. They all taste great, and if you only have one orange, that’s fine.

  • One bottle rosé wine
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup brandy This can be adjusted too. If you want it stronger, add a little more.It just adds a little more flavor and kick.
  • Stir everything in a pitcher and chill or pour over ice.

Rosé Wine Slushies

Wine slushies are fun and easy to make.

  • Grab some frozen strawberries or mixed berries. In a blender, blend 1 cup wine with ½ cup frozen berries. Now here’s where it gets tricky, the fruit can be sweet. If it is too sweet, add a little more wine and ice to thicken. If it is too tart, add a dash of simple syrup. I’ve been in a pinch before and just added some regular granulated sugar and blended it. It tasted okay.

See my creamy treat below and watch a how to video below also.

Creamy Wine Slushies

Creamy wine slushies made the same way as the regular slushie (recipe above), but to make it creamy, add a tablespoon, or so, of vanilla ice cream and blend. Again, any frozen fruit tastes good. Try it with blueberries!

How to Make a Wine Slushie


This wine makes some delicious sauces. Here are a few of my favorites. They are all reasonably easy, and the measurements can be modified to suit individual tastes.

Rosé Wine Pasta Sauce

Make this sauce for spaghetti or linguine noodles. One pound of dry noodles is plenty. Have your noodles ready, and have some grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on at the table.

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 5 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 minced shallots
  • 1 cup rosé wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the minced garlic and shallots and cook until soft or about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the wine and tomato paste, cook at least five minutes. If it is too thick, add a tablespoon of water.
Stir in noodles and serve with grated parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

Rosé Wine Reduction Sauce

Make a nice reduction sauce with a few ingredients then pour it over chicken, fish, or cooked veggies. The measurements do not need to be exact. A little more garlic did not seem to change the taste.

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ to ½ cup minced onions
  • 1 to 2 minced garlic
  • ½ to ¾ cup rosé wine

Heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add onions and garlic until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes, but do not burn them.
Stir in the wine and simmer until desired consistency.

Rosé Wine Vinaigrette

You can use this vinaigrette on cold pasta salads or any green leaf salad. It adds a refreshing brightness.

  • ¼ cup rosé wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 minced clove garlic, more or less if desired
  • ¼ cup water

Stir, blend, or shake together the ingredients. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. You can use it immediately, but it tastes much better if it sits in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Selecting the Best Glass

There is a reason to select the right wine glass, but rosé wine drinkers have many choices.

Red wine benefits from a wide cup or bowl. Red wine needs to breathe, and a full cup lets you swirl and aerate the wine.

White wine does not need as much aeration, so a thinner cup is fine.

Traditional White and Red Wine Glasses
Traditional White and Red Wine Glasses | Source

Flutes are skinny wine glasses for carbonated wines like champagne. The smaller opening slows the bubbly from escaping.

Flutes | Source

What does that leave for rosé wines? This type of beverage will benefit from some air and swirling. If you have an outdoor or summer picnic the wine stays chilled longer in these Wine Freeze Cooling Cups. I have found they stayed chilled for about an hour on hot days. These cups are stored in the freezer and the inside freezes, but it will not dilute the wine, like ice cubes. The cold cups where perfect for warm summer bbq's.

If you are doing a dinner or table setting, traditional stemed glassware looks better.

The Pour
The Pour | Source

Health Benefits

Researchers have studied wine to try to unlock its healthy benefits. They have discovered the purple skin of the grapes contains resveratrol. Resveratrol levels are the highest in dark red wines like cabs. White wines have the least amount. Rosé wines have some benefits of resveratrol.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant, and although scientists do not know exactly how the compound works, resveratrol tends to decrease the risks of heart disease and inflammation. Resveratrol is in blueberries and cocoa also.

Rosé Wine Themed Party

If you are looking for a party idea, try this beverage themed party you can start with the decorations. Some fun choices are pink, gold, and silver balloons, and roses for centerpieces.

Drink: Definitely many varieties of rosé wines and try some of my cocktail recipes listed above.

For Party
For Party | Source

Food: Have cheese, meats, and crackers. Try my fig and goat appetizer listed above. Crostini’s with pink port wine cheese has always been a big hit.

Cheesecake bites for dessert with rose cut strawberries dipped in chocolate has always been super, super popular. Here's how to make them.

Make a Chocolate Strawberry Rose

What Is Mulled Wine?

Mulled Rosé Wine
Mulled Rosé Wine | Source

Mulled wine is warmed wine that has spices added. It is great to drink in the fall months, and it is a holiday favorite. The spices can vary , but the most popular are:

  • cloves
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • ginger
  • cardamon
  • star anise
  • orange slices or zests
  • lemon slices or zest
  • apple slices
  • pear slices
  • cranberries
  • raisins
  • honey
  • sugar—brown or white

How to Mull Rosé Wine

Mulled wine is usually made with deep red wines, but rose wine can make an excellent hot spicey drink too. To mull rose wine you will need:

  • 1 bottle rose wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Optional: cheesecloth or coffee filters to filter the spices
  • Optional: Apple or pear slices and white raisins or cranberries.


  1. Heat the wine on the stove or a crockpot or low-medium heat. Do not boil it, just warm the liquid. Add the ingredients, and let the sugar melt. Warm for at least five minutes. Fifteen minutes will make the wine spicer if you have time.
  2. Add fruit slices. I found citrus could overpower the rose wine, so I favor apples and pears. White raisins and cranberries add a nice festive touch, and they did not distort the tastes.
  3. Ladle out into hot cups. It doesn't hurt to have clove in the drink, but you can scoop around them or strain them out.

Experiment with other fruits and spices.

Men Drinking Wine
Men Drinking Wine | Source

Men: The New Wine Drinkers?

Men have been drinking wine since the dawn of time, but recently, it has been coined a new phrase. Men that drink rose, white, or lighter wines have been nicknamed broses or bro's. Like bro and rose. I think it is a new way of stating that wine is not gender specific. It's wine. Everyone drinks it. So enjoy, no matter who you are!

Color Quiz

What's Your Favorite Color of Wine?

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© 2018 Lora Riley

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