Author: dr. Gabriella Mészáros

Rosé wines

Rosé wines

Rosé wines are made from black grapes. The grapes are only in contact with the fermenting must for a very short time, usually 2-3 hours. The colour of rosé can range from very light purple or bluish pink to moderately intensive salmon or orange. This depends partly on the grape variety the wine is made from and partly on the characteristics of the terroir and the type of winemaking process used.

The colour and flavours of rosé wines are closer to those of red wines, while they are more similar to white wines in character. This is no coincidence since wines made from black grapes are more typically associated with flavours of red or black berries. Therefore, if you taste a rosé wine, you’ll find it’s closer in character to a white wine thanks to its vibrancy and liveliness, but its palate will be reminiscent of the typical flavours of a red wine.

To make high-quality rosé, the grapes are harvested earlier than is usual for black grapes, resulting in a lighter wine with higher acidity. However, Hungarian rosé conventions are a little different. The Hungarian range includes far more lightly-coloured rosé wines with vibrant, fruity flavours. These wines are generally characterised by very low colour intensity and a restrained nose. They are not aged in oak, rather produced in stainless steel tanks, which preserves their freshness and fruitiness. The most popular variety for rosé in Hungary is Kékfrankos, but rosé is also made from Kadarka, Pinot Noir, Merlot and the Cabernets. One specialty is Siller wine, which is much deeper in colour and is also characterised by some tannin. One such wine is Fuxli from Szekszárd, usually described by the local producers as being somewhat like a red wine in character. They pair well with similar dishes to light white wines.

The process of making rosé wine

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