Guide to Rosé Wine

Rosé wine is often chosen as a cooling and refreshing summer drink that can be consumed alongside a variety of meals and food choices or as the perfect gift for many occasions.

In this guide to rosé wine we aim to explore some of the common grape varietals used to make this style as well as describe some of the prominent flavours and best food pairing options with each.

Rosé Wine Varietals

Rosé wines are typically made in one of three ways:

  • The Maceration Method
  • The Saignée Method
  • The Blending Approach

In the maceration method, the base wine is allowed to rest with the skins for some time before the solids are filtered out and the resulting juice goes through the same treatment as normal white wine.

The saignée method, however, filters out some of the juice of a normal red wine undergoing fermentation and uses this to produce rosé wine. Finally, and used much less often, blending involves combining red and white wines together to form a rosé wine.

Irrespective of the winemaking method taken, producers of rosé wine will always use any number of various red wine producing grape varietals, some of the most popular of which are explored below. To learn more about the intricacies of how rosé wines are made, consider this useful quick guide.

Shiraz & Syrah Rosé

Rosé wines made from the shiraz or syrah grape varietals are typically known to be drier in style than many other types of rosé wine.

In addition to this, rosé wines produced from these grapes will also often possess a deep ruby red colour and bolder flavours of hot spice, strawberry, cherry, and peach. Some of the best food pairing options with these styles of rosé are alongside pepperoni pizzas or mild to hotly spiced curry dishes.

Shiraz & Syrah Rosé Quick Guide

Pinot Noir Rosé

As is the case in the red wine produced by this grape, pinot noir rosé wines are characterised by their softer colour profile, dry style, refreshing amounts of acidity, and delicate fruit flavours.

Prominent flavours present in many examples of these rosé wines include watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, and sometimes earthier notes of moist stone. When matching food with these wines, it is best to pair them with lobster or crab, or simply with goat cheese.

Pinot Noir Rosé Quick Guide

Grenache Rosé

Rosé wines produced from the red wine producing grape varietal grenache are typically deeper red in colour and more fuller-bodied than many other examples of rosé wine.

Because of this, they are often served well chilled, so as to preserve and enhance their moderate levels of refreshing acidity and flavours of strawberry and exotic spice. Some of the best food pairing options including chicken gyros or kebabs with tzatziki dressing, or mild Indian curries.

Grenache Rosé Quick Guide

Merlot Rosé

Those rosé wines produced from the merlot red wine grape variety are typically characterised by a slightly sweeter style than many of the other dry rosé wines available.

Often called white merlot, these wines are part of what is commonly known as the New World styles of rosé, which is to say they are made in a slightly sweet fashion. These sweeter style wines are often best matched alongside hotly spiced food or on its own as a dessert style wine.

Merlot Rosé Quick Guide

Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Cabernet sauvignon rosé wines are often characterised by their higher levels of acidity and deep ruby red colour, which makes them comparable to those made from syrah or shiraz grapes.

Common flavours found in these wines also mirror those found in the latter grape varietal, which includes peppery spice and dark berries. For food pairing options with these wines, it is best to match them with paella or lemon and garlic infused seafood dishes.

Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé Quick Guide

Provence Rosé Blend

Actually a blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah, and mourvèdre red wine producing grapes, these rosé wines are easily recognisable for their dry, crisp, and lean style, which makes them extremely approachable and a definite crowd pleaser.

Common flavours include strawberries, watermelon, and a subtle mineralistic quality, which makes these wines suitable matches with anything from a juicy burger to a fresh salad.

Provence Rosé Blend Quick Guide


There's a bottle of rosé wine out there for everyone. Here are some of the brands and bottles that we recommend you look out for the next time you're browsing online or in-store.

La Planchelière 2019 French Cabernet d'Anjou Rosé Tasting Notes
A slightly sweet style of rosé with moderate amounts of acidity, this wine is approachable & best when served cold from out of the fridge.

La Planchelière

2019 Cabernet d'Anjou French Rosé
Noble Fellows Princess Petunia 2019 Marlborough Pinot Rosé Tasting Notes
A moderately sweet style of rosé with noticeable amounts of crisp & sweet apple flavours, this wine is a definite crowd-pleaser.

Noble Fellows Princess Petunia

2019 Marlborough Pinot Rosé

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