Nope, Rosé Is Not Just Red and White Wine Grapes Thrown Together

Nope, Rosé Is Not Just Red and White Wine Grapes Thrown Together
Say Hey to WA Rosé, mates. (Image: Melissa Matheson / Lifehacker)

Fully aware this is going to make me sound like an absolute bogan: until far too recently I thought rosé wine was just a hodge-podge mix of red and white grapes. It’s not. Turns out there’s quite an art to it.

To be fair, rosé often feels like a bit of an afterthought. When you go to someone’s place for dinner they usually ask if you’d like red or white wine — rarely does rosé get a listing.

Then there are those endless Instagram shots of girlies with their “pink wine” and it kind of just feels a bit silly to me.

So, if we are going to take rosé seriously, what are we looking for?

Firstly, in very basic terms, rosé is made with red wine grapes, but with fewer skins and on a shorter time frame, which gives it that iconic pink colour and lighter flavour.

Naturally, there’s a whole range of varieties within the rosé fam, just like with red and white wines.

To give you a sampling of the spectrum, Burch Family Wines has put together a special 4-pack, aptly titled Say Hey to WA Rosé, showcasing grenache, pinot noir, shiraz and pinot gris from Western Australia’s Margaret River, Swan Valley and Great Southern regions.

The kit even comes with a scorecard for tasting notes, and a QR code to a virtual tasting with Howard Park Wines’ chief winemaker, Nic Bowen.

“The style of rosés has come a long way, even in just the last five or so years, thanks to the never ending desire for winemakers to innovate and experiment — be it behind the scenes in the winery or through varietal selection,” Bowen said.

“On the consumer side, there is increased curiosity and excitement for styles beyond straight salmon-hued pinot noir, with plenty of juicy, delectable examples spanning shiraz, grenache and even nero d’avola.”

Now, if you want to take your new-found love of rosé for a spin next time you’re at a restaurant, we have this handy guide on what to ask for, and some hot tips on wine terms to make you sound extra classy.

And if you just want to impress your mates (and Instagram), give these rosé popsicles a go.

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