However, for any wine to be on your dinner table any time of the year, it needs to be well made. And as I have lobbied herein before, today’s dry Rosés—particularly those from France, Spain and Italy, and I don’t mean to denigrate New World producers—are particularly well made. They are not your Granny’s Mateus of decades ago; they are not your Mama’s Blush of yesteryear: and they are not your Auntie Bertha’s White Zinfandel of whenever. Moreover, while the color of today’s Rosé may remind you of those three versions, that’s where the similarity ceases. Modern Rosés are bone dry (note: not sweet) and have much more character and complexity than those sugary predecessors.
Character and complexity, by the way, are not achieved by blending mediocre red wines with equivalent whites. Good dry Rosés are produced the same way first rate red wines are produced—from high quality red grapes. The primary difference between red wines and Rosés is the length of time their grape skins are left macerating in the crush. Rosés macerate for hours, not days, and barrel aging or oak seasoning via chips also is typically not a part of the recipe. How long they macerate is determined by the nature of the underlying grape(s) as well as the winemaker’s intent as to tint, flavor, fragrance, and overall wine style.
While styles vary slightly as to complexity of skin contact, crispness of acidity, and depth of color, Rosés generally can be summed up as follows: they are brightly colored, engagingly aromatic and always flavorful, with a long, crisp finish that easily meets the requirements of pairing well with many different food preparations. To be sure, Rosés may well be the most versatile of wines you can serve whether it is summer, autumn or winter. (Thanksgiving, with its kaleidoscopic side dishes, is an ideal venue for Rosé wines.)