Contrary to popular belief, rosé wine is made from red grapes using a process usually used for white wine. Rosé happens when the skins of red grapes touch for only a short time; where some red wines ferment for weeks at a time on red grape skins, rosé wines are stained red for just a few hours.
There are five primary flavours of rosé: red fruit, flowers, citrus, melon and celery/rhubarb. Rosé ranges from being fruity to full-bodied and is recommended to have a cool serving temperature. It is advised to chill rosé to 10 degrees, refrigerating for a few hours before serving.
Dry rosé is said to be better when served at low temperatures, whilst on the other hand sweet wines are better served at the higher end (up to 13 degrees).
The increased temperature exposes the aroma of the wine therefore making it more enjoyable to the palate. After opening and serving the wine, leave to warm slightly – rather than putting it on ice – bringing out the flavours of the wine.
Serving rosé properly also greatly depends on the style of glass it is served in, this differs for dry and sweet rosés. Fruity/sweet wines benefit from flared opening glasses – this concentrates the wine on the parts of the tongue most sensitive to sweetness – a glass with a tapered bowl suits drier wines. If in doubt of the style of glass to be used, a white wine glass will suffice.
Dry rose complements strongly flavoured dishes, in particular those with lots of herb flavours or garlic. Although light-bodied dry wine may not stand up to strong flavours, therefore combine it with olives, grilled vegetables or tomatoes.
Dry or medium wine is a good barbecue wine, even dry wines have fruity flavourings so it is advised to pair with foods that have fruit in them, e.g. salads or prosciutto and melon. Light dry rosés tend to be mixed with light salads, pasta or seafood; this can also be said for medium dry rosés, although in addition they are suited with desserts.
Fruity/sweet rosé wines are best served with seafood, e.g. lobster, salmon and tuna. However, white-rinded cheese such as Camembert and Brie also work well with sweet wines.