Dry rosé wine
A dry rosé wine is one made from grapes which have been picked early enough to ensure that they do not take on too much sweetness. Dry rosé wines are typically still, and are made using red grapes which are then crushed and the skins removed, reducing the amount of colour which is taken into the wine during fermentation. Rosé wines were not common before the 1980s, when the name was first given, although it had been made before this, particularly in America where the need for white wines lead to the production of light pink wines such as the ‘white Zinfandel‘. Europeans in particular have established a fondness for the pink wines.
South Africa has never been afraid to follow the fashion of the Old World, and they have produced a number of dry and sweet rosé wines which are equal to those of Europe and America. The range of red wines which South Africa has access to, including the unique Pinotage, means that rosé wines are easy to make. For a drier rosé, many wine makers are turning to a good Shiraz, or a Cabernet Sauvignon, grape, which can then be allowed to ferment without its skin, forming a bright, pink dry wine.
Although it has attempted to produce a number of good, dry rosé wines, the major problem lies in the lack of uptake by the domestic wine market. This is caused by a number of factors, including the excessive amount of white wine which is still being produced by South African wine makers. For example, Chardonnay is still the nation’s number-one product, and it is being closely followed by Sauvignon Blanc. Although dry rosé wine has become a traditional European lunch-time wine, most South African wine drinkers will choose to have a white wine during the midday meal instead.
One of the makers of this type of wine is the Boschendal Pavillion. This uses Shiraz grown in the Coastal Region to produce a fine red wine that is thick and acidic on the tongue. The wine has plenty of fruit flavours, and is only slightly off-dry. Another well-known maker of these wines is the Hill&Dale Dry Rose, which is produced using Merlot grapes. The 2011 wine is a very rosé-coloured liquid, with a smell of strawberries and raspberries, plus slightly grassy backnotes. The taste is again very fruity, which give the wine a sweetness despite its dry nature.
There are a number of food which can be complimented by a good dry rosé wine, particularly salads and vegetables, or a Charcuterie where all the food is cold. As seen at various trade shows, dry rosé wines can also compliment paella (seafood), and if you have a very full-bodied rosé, then you may consider other seafood or fish. Spiced foods will also go down well with a more fruity dry rosé wine. Cheeses can also be a good compliment to your dry rosé, particularly those which are stronger in character. Blue cheeses in particular are very good with a crisp, dry rosé wine.