By Arjun Sachar

We attribute a lot of things that’ve been culturally significant to the Brits, both in and out of the Indian context – some good, some bad, and some alcoholic. Given their influence over the beverage trade for centuries, a British influence that’s found it’s way to our dinner parties, outings and soirees is the Rosé wine. The development of Rosé wine can be noted as a follow up to what they loved to drink during the 1800’s, namely Claret. Bordeaux wines at that time were one of the most sought–after wines in the British market. Apart from the bolder, darker and complex red wines from this region, what they fell in love with was this pale red colour wine style, a bit darker than Rosé, and a bit lighter than red wines. They called it Claret which, unlike red wine, could be drunk a bit chilled.

In the following decades, the winemaking style of Claret was altered to fit the demands of consumers across the world. Hence, a lighter style of Claret was developed, resembling what is today known as Rosé. In the last few years, due to its popularity, Rosé has earned itself a category of its own. Today, it is made in almost all the wine making regions of the world.

Rosé is generally made using black grapes. The winemaking is almost similar to that of red wines; the grapes are crushed, destemmed and left to macerate {grape skin contact with the juice} with the juice, but the main difference is the duration of the maceration period. In the case of Rosé, the juice is let off after a shorter interval than that of red wines. Apart from the wine making style, the grape variety also influences the maceration period. For example, a deeper pigmented skin as that of Cabernet Sauvignon will require less contact time with the juice, as compared to a Pinot Noir or a Grenache.

One of the unique characteristics of Rosé wine is that it blends perfectly with food. Whether it’s seafood or steak, cold sandwiches of chicken and ham or a hot dog, chips and dip or French fries with sauce, Rosé wine can encompass an array of food styles with different flavours.

It is the season for Rosé, and here are some Rosé wines I’ve enjoyed and those you can get your hands on in Delhi |

Torres De Casta 2011 | 
Catalunya, Spain

spain Sipping on Rosé

A very approachable and a youthful Rosé having a deep pink appearance, made from a blend of Cariñena – Garnacha, two grape varieties commonly used to make red wines in Spain, especially in the region of Priorat.
Dominated by red fruit aromas such as strawberries, cherries, candied red currant and candy floss, alongside hints of spiciness and herbaceous-ness on the palate, this wine provides a pleasant mouthful and hence it can either be drunk by itself or even paired with food.

Mateau Rosé 2011 | 

portugal Sipping on Rosé

At some point, this was one of the most widely available Rosé wines in the Delhi retail market, and became popular for its easy drinking notion. It is made from a blend of local grape varieties such as Baga, Rufete, Tinta Barocca, Touriga Franca, amongst others from Portugal.
A lovely pale salmon colour with a fresh floral bouquet like aroma, it is well balanced on the palate, which is complimented by its slight fizzy finish.
Chilled is the way this wine is supposed to be drunk.

Bava Rosato Monferrato Ciaret DOC 2009 | 

italy Sipping on Rosé

A pleasant salmon colour on the rim leads to hints of orange on the core of the glass.
A refreshing and crisp wine made from a blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Merlot grapes.
It’s an absolute delight when paired with seafood, since it gives aromas and flavours of rose, pronounced red berries and hints of pomegranate, along with a balanced structure which perfectly complements delicacies such as goan fish curry, sautéed mussels or clams.

Marquis de Goulaine 2011 | 
Rosé de Anjou, France

france Sipping on Rosé

A wine with a very interesting blend of Groslot Noir, Groslot Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc grapes, it is a bit complex yet approachable at the same time.
Salmon to a light rose like color, it is slightly off dry, with a delicate bouquet bursting with red fruity flavors of strawberries and cherries. Hints of apple and nuttiness are typical characteristics that are derived from the Groslot grape.
A slightly chilled glass of this wine is certainly a treat to make your evening a bit more refreshing.

Watershed Rosé 2011 | 
Margaret River, Australia

australia Sipping on Rosé

Produced from 100% Shiraz grapes, it is a fruit driven wine with the aromas of red fresh fruit such as strawberries, cherries and raspberry, alongside minerality notes which complement the structure of the wine. A perfect wine to have chilled on its own, or with spicy Asian food.

Fratelli Shiraz Rosé 2012 | 

india Sipping on Rosé

Fratelli wines have certainly set an example when it comes to winemaking in India. Over a period of time, through the vision of Piero Masi, the creator of Fratelli wines, they have won many accolades on the international front. This one is their first shiraz Rosés.
A simple and approachable wine in a bright gold pink color, it is crisp and clean both on the nose and the palate. Prominence of plum, strawberry and cherry aromas with balanced acidity will keep you sipping this delicious drink!

About the Author | 
Arjun Sachar worked with {wine} industry experts in India, before going to pursue his M.Sc. and MBA in Wine Marketing and Management from Bordeaux International Wine Institute, INSEEC. He’s traveled extensively in the wine growing regions of Italy, Germany, France and Spain. He’s currently working as a representative for a French oak trading company, as has been one of the youngest Indians to have participated in the En Primeur tasting campaign in 2013.

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