Think Pink: A Quick Introduction to Rosé by Joe Roberts

Rosé wine has long lived in the shadows of some of the more traditional red and white varieties. Even well-made rosés were disregarded as thirsty drinkers assumed those pink wines would taste sweet, seem poorly made, or both. Luckily for rosé lovers, those days are long behind us. It can now be argued that no wine is as sexy as rosé.

Introduction to Rosé

Contrary to some beliefs, rosé is not made by mixing red and white wines together. It is usually made one of two ways. The first method is the saignee (“bleed”) method. For saignee rosés, some of the juice when making a red wine is “bled” off. This approach is often looked down upon, but technological advancements have made the ominously named saignee process a viable way to create dangerously easy-to-gulp rosé wines.

However, arguably the best rosés are the varieties that are planned from the ground up. In those cases, the grapes are farmed and picked to emphasize pithy acidity and then pressed with light skin contact to emphasize color and fruitiness. Thankfully, these rosés can still be affordable, though rare versions can fetch $100 per bottle.

Rosé Wine Intro Infographic

Below are five rosé varieties you need to try.

  • Provence is a French variety that can usually be enjoyed for less than $25 a bottle. It is an easy-drinking, food-friendly wine with vibrant red berry flavors and the aromas of fresh roses. Provence wine is made with Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cinsault grapes.
  • Côtes du Rhône is another French variety. This wine is medium-bodied with a bright cherry flavor. Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Grenache grapes are used to make this darker-hued wine.
  • Rioja wine hails from Spain. It is a deeply hued pink wine with aromas of strawberries and cherries, with hints of mint, and tobacco leaf. Rioja wine is made with Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes.
  • Mendoza is a South American wine from Argentina. It is dark in color and features intense aromas of raspberries, herbs, and flowers. Malbec grapes are used to create this fuller-bodied wine and a bottle can usually be found for $9-$15.
  • Coming back to France one last time, Tavel is our last must-try rose! A full-bodied, powerful wine, Tavel might be mistaken for a full-on red wine. It is made with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Grenache grapes, and this wine usually  sells for at least $20 dollars a bottle.

Whether you’re looking for a light, floral rosé, or a full-bodied almost red variety, next time you go to grab a bottle, think pink! You won’t be disappointed.


Joe Roberts is a certified wine specialist. Joe is known for creating 1 Wine Dude, a wine blog aimed specifically at the intermediate wine lover. In 2009 his blog was named Best Wine Blog by FoodBuzz Blog Awards and again in 2010 by Wine Blog Awards. Follow him on Twitter!

Curious what happens when you give a “bro” rosé? It’s magic. Here’s our “Brosé Video”.

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