Pink is charming and pretty—the color of flowers, seashells, clouds at twilight or the soft glitter of fire opals. Pink is also the color of some delicious wines. The wines appear delicate, but many are strong enough to stand up to spicy foods. They are also light enough to be a versatile match with a variety of lighter dishes. These pretty wines are known by several names: including rosé, blanc de noir, vin gris or simply blush. The wines may also have a name using the single grape variety from which they may be made, such as White Zinfandel, White Grenache, Pinot Noir Blanc or White Merlot.
White Zinfandel accounts for the majority of blush wine consumed in the U.S. Extremely popular since the 1970s and continuing to be a favorite, these crisp, slightly sweet (generally 2.5% residual sugar) wines have introduced many consumers to the enjoyment of wine. The other wines in the pink genre are the bone-dry rosés and blanc de noirs. Gaining more and more accolades, these beautiful dry wines have high acidity, and complex aromas and fruit flavors.
Winemakers use nearly all types of red grapes to produce these wines. For rosés, well-colored grape skins are allowed only brief contact with the clear juice after crushing to produce the light crimson hues of a rosé wine, generally an average of six to 24 hours of skin contact. Blanc de noir wines, a term applied to white wines from black grapes, also known as vin gris-style wines, are also produced by quickly separating the clear juice from the color-laden grape skins, but immediately after crushing so that only the barest blush of pale color remains in the wine. Both rosé and blanc de noir wines are then made like white wines.
California Shipments/Consumption to the U.S. Market(Millions of nine-liter cases)
Source: Impact Annual Wine Study 2009
* Less than 50,000 cases or 0.05%
The Rosé Avengers & Producers (RAP) is an international group, dedicated to the promotion of dry rosés. For information, go to: www.rapwine.com.