Ah Rosé! As summer begins to heat up, you will start to see this classic French wine everywhere. But what exactly is ROSÉ, and what is its Italian sister ROSATO?
The winemaking processes are very similar, but the goal is different.
There are a couple of different techniques to making Rosé. The most common is by using red grapes, the grapes are crushed, and left with their skins for a few hours, adding a lighter pink color. (When red wine is made, the skins are left in the barrel for much longer, giving the wine its deeper red color and flavors).
Rosé is a point of pride in France. The Centre du Rosé in Provence touts itself as “the only research centre in the world dedicated to rosé wine.” There is a flavor and color profile that most french wines are trying to achieve: dry or sweet, the color must be a precise “light pink.” They are meant to be paired with light, summer-inspired foods.
ROSATO is the Italian bohemian sister of French Rosé. It is typically made with indigenous grape varieties that are not seen outside of Italy. The color is vivid and varied- from a bright ruby, to a pale grapefruit. It differs geographically, and since there is no regulatory rules, tends to be more wild and diverse. Rosato from Northern Italy will be very different than Rosato from Sicily. In general, we find Rosato to be a bit heavier, more tannic, and a bit more complex. Based on the region of Italy you are in, Rosato may also be called vin ruspo, cerasuolo, or chiaretto.
Frankly speaking, Rosé tastes like France and Rosato tastes like Italy, and we are bigger fans of the complexity and variety of Rosato.