The rosé wine, the universal wine


Rosé is for many a second-rate wine, misunderstood, because many believe it is a blend made with red and white grapes, but this practice is forbidden by law and is used only exceptionally in sparkling wines.

I like to call it universal because it can replace both a red and white wine and is therefore more versatile, with caveats.

What would you combine with to a dish of meat or vegetables on a hot summer day? Certainly not a red, better a rosé served at a temperature between 10 to 14°C.

The vinification of rosé wine:

Tuscany is in the habit of using “bleeding” as the rosé wine-making method, but fortunately in other areas different methods have been used. During “bleeding” a part of the must is taken away before fermentation in order to concentrate and raise the color of the wine, which in the sangiovese (a native grape in Chianti Prince) has a very pale color. By doing so, we will have a more intense color concentration. In other cases, fortunately, there are other production techniques for these wines which are treated like white wines. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel or glass-lined cement and the must is only used with a soft pressing of the grape.

Depending on the vine variety used, with more or less anthocyanins (grape coloring matter), fermentation can last from a few hours to a maximum of 24 hours, rarely 48 hours, everything depends on the color concentration mode in reference to the type of vine. To produce rosé all kinds of red grapes are used, the choice is up to the manufacturer or the winemaker.

Today, thanks to the desire of some companies and the ever more updated processing techniques, rosé wines are of an excellent quality.

Unfortunately, I remain of the belief that the short amount of information, a few mistakes made by some manufacturers and a lack of knowledge have led to a low diffusion of this type of wine.

Rosé wines express the best of themselves in the first year of life due to their freshness, the pleasant aromas of fruit and flowers which can be appreciated both in the olfactory and in the tasting phase; and the low polyphenol content (modest part) tend to rapidly decrease and the advice is to consume them within two, or a maximum of three years.

Why choose a rosé? Because they can be served at a lower temperature without the risk of enhancing the hard parts of the wine such as the tannins and are definitely less astringent than red wines.

Rosé wines combine with many dishes and I often recommend a color combination with red colors on the plate and a rose colors in the wine. The best combinations are, therefore, with summer dishes: panzanella, rice salads, but also with a cod alla livornese, a beautiful tripe alla fiorentina, a tripe salad or eggplant parmigiana. I suggest you follow a simple rule: texture and succulence in food combine with the most full-bodied rosé wines with an alcohol content between 13 and 14, however with little structure in the food lighter rosé wines are recommended with an alcohol content between 12 and 13.

The serving temperatures are 10° -12° C for a light rosé and 12° -14° C for full-bodied rosés and with the higher degree of alcohol.

The rosé is a very pleasant wine for its elegance and freshness, we can combine it more or less with all of our summer dishes without running into trouble!

Andrea Ranfagni

Sommelier FISAR


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