The facts on rose wine

Dear Wine Ladies,

As a newbie to wine, just having graduated from wine coolers… sorry Wine Ladies, I have started to enjoy roses. My question is how do roses get their colour? Is it simply a blend of red and white wine?

Susan
Houston, Texas

Dear Susan,

No need to apologize… welcome to the world of wine and to the growing category of roses! There are basically two ways to produce a rose; the first, is by blending red and white wine together and the other by allowing crushed red grapes to ferment with the skins, for a brief time only, separating them before the juice is fully coloured.

Many of the new world wine producing regions employ both methods, with a good majority of them opting more for the less complex blending technique. In Europe, mixing red and white wine is generally banned, with the exceptions of champagne, and a few others. There is actually a battle raging right now between the European Union and many of the producers in France. The E.U. wants to relax the rules for making roses, permitting blending, while many French producers are against it, fearing lesser quality wines will be mixed and sold as rose.

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