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Simply defined; a rosé wine is a type of wine that uses some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. It may be the oldest known type of wine, as it is the most straightforward to make with the skin contact method. The pink color can range from a pale "onion-skin" orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the varietals used.
Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels from highly dry Provençal rosé to the amatuer efforts of sweet White Zinfandels (not really wines now are they ??) and blushes. Rosé wines are made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all around the globe.
When rosé wine is the primary product, it is produced with the skin contact method. Black-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically one to three days. The must (read; all the mess that was in th vat; seeds, stems, skins, juice an everything else) is then pressed. The skins are removed rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine. Think of leaving a tea bag to steep for too long !!!
When a winemaker desires to impart more tannin and color to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage in what is known as the Saignée (from French bleeding) method. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must involved in the maceration becomes more concentrated.
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