It’s officially Spring here in Niagara, although most days you wouldn’t know it. With many a rainy day, and cool temperatures, it’s hard to believe it’s now June. However, there’s the odd day when the sun is shining and the evenings are warm, and it’s those kind of days, that have me thinking “rosé”.

To say rosé is trendy is an understatement. Madonna calls it her summer water and “Yes way rosé” has become a brand in itself. Yet, I still find people either love it or hate it. It’s come a long way from the perception it once had, but what is it about this wine that makes it so unique?

How is it made?

There are 3 ways to make rosé. The most popular being to let the grape skins sit with the grape juice for a very short period of time. When any grapes are pressed, their juices run clear. Red wine gains its’ colour through skin maceration. The skins and the juice normally sit together for weeks if not months. In the case of rosé, they sit together for 2 to 3 days.  The juice doesn’t have time to get red, and voila!…you have pink wine.

You can get any shade of pink under the sun, from salmon to strawberry, fuschia, and peach. It’s simply up to the winemaker and the style they’re looking to create. Rosé can be any level of sweetness and is actually more often made dry than sweet. It’s a wine that, due to the skin contact, can take on structure and complexity that a white wine doesn’t offer, yet still leaves you with a crisp, easy drinking wine. It’s the best of both worlds. The most popular place in the world for rosé is France and in particular, Provence and these wines are typically inexpensive and good quality.

My favourite rosé in Niagara has always been Mallivoire’s Ladybug Rosé (a blend of Cab Franc, Pinot Noir and Gamay). This past weekend I finally enjoyed my first rosé of the season at Midfield Wine Bar in Toronto. It was a Spanish rosé and it was delightful. Paired with ample sunshine, cheese and oysters it doesn’t get much better than that on a Saturday afternoon in June.


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