Skip to main content

Ugur Anahtarci/Thinkstock

The question: How does a rosé get its colour?

The answer: For the vast majority of rosés, it boils down to duration of skin contact.

Dark pigment is contained in grape skins, not juice. The latter is always white in the case of both white and red grapes. To obtain that pink hue, winemakers leave red skins in contact with the juice for only a short period before removing them to complete fermentation. Red wines, by contrast, stay in contact with skins for the whole ride, developing that saturated colour. In rare cases, notably some pink champagnes, a splash of red wine is added to white, but the practice is otherwise generally frowned upon.

Story continues below advertisement

So, rosé in a sense is just a light-coloured red wine. But from an enjoyment perspective, it's best to think of it as a white wine with some colour. Pink wines are designed to be chilled. And they begin to taste particularly delectable right about now through to the end of summer.

Have a wine question?

E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. Look for answers to select questions to appear in the Wine & Spirits newsletter and on The Globe and Mail website.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.