Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

(Ugur Anahtarci/Thinkstock)
(Ugur Anahtarci/Thinkstock)

How does rosé get its colour? Add to ...

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.

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.

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular