La Vie en Rosé: Learning more about rosé wines

Here are Paris by the Glass, we are gearing up for the rosé season. Let’s dream of the South of France: put on your rosé colored glasses and learn more about these wines with us! We’ve had a string out outstanding summer-like days here in Paris and all we want to do is sit outside and drink cold, uncomplicated and satisfying wines and rosé seems to fill the bill!


Rosé often gets a bad reputation of being a cheap, inexpensive and uninteresting wines. Sure, there are many of those on the market! But more and more, we are seeing great examples of fabulous rosés that can be very charming as an apéritif or even to masterfully accompany gastronomic meals. Think of rosé like an intermediate style between and white and a red wine, which makes them naturally very food-friendly and fun to pair, especially during summer and al fresco dining.


These wines are meant to be uncomplicated crowd-pleasers. I know that when I open a bottle with friends, it’s not necessary to contemplate or to smell and savour for hours. It’s for thirst quenching and drinking!

La cuvée "Signature" AOC Côtes de Provence de Saint André de Figuière, one of my favorite summer drinks

La cuvée “Signature”
AOC Côtes de Provence
de Saint André de Figuière, one of my favorite summer drinks


Rosé is slowly getting over its image issue and finding its way to tables near you. So enjoy a glass of French rosé while you learn a bit more about their production.   Here is a brief description of the four methods for making pink wine:


Rosé Wine Production Methods:

  1. Direct Pressing – Dark skinned grapes are pressed immediately after being picked, no time is given for the red skins to color the juice. This gives us a vin gris or gris de gris of a very pale, salmon pink or copper.


  1. Maceration – Dark skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to macerate with the juice from anywhere from 1 hour to 1-2 days, allowing for further extraction of color from the skins. Grapes are then pressed or the juice is drained and the wine is fermented like a white wine. Also referred to as rosé d’une nuit. If we keep the grape skins in contact with the juice for longer, we would eventually have a red wine.  This gives us a darker pink hue than the above method.


  1. Saignée or bleeding of the vats – A certain amount of the free run juice from dark skinned grapes is allowed to be bled out of the vat to be made into rosé wine separately. The grapes have just had a small amount of time to color the juice. The remaining skins and wine are typically used to make red wine, thus concentrated the end result as we’ve already drawn off some of the juice. This is seen mostly commonly in Bordeaux and can often gives us more vibrant pink wines or paler pink if desired.


  1. Blending – Only allowed legally in the production of rosé champagne. A small percentage (usually between 5-15{3a7d09526df5c7d799d9c3345e955029832d7bc6b7b2dd8e5aa7fd6ebaba0b85}) of still red wine made in the Champagne region is blended into the clear base wine before bottled and the second fermentation. A few rosés de saignée Champagnes exist, but are quite rare and harder to control the color during production. This method cannot be used for still rosé wines in France or anywhere else in the EU.


Let us know your favorite pink wines in the comments section and have a guess at how they may be made! Cheers!

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