Rosé seems to be a “hot term” these days. While Rosé wine has existed for quite sometime, the term has expanded to include beer and spirits. So, what is the connection between Rosé wine and Rosé beer for instance? In reality there is very little. The only common thread may be the signature pink color.
Let’s start with Rosé wine to understand the nature of the terminology. Rosé wine typically is made by leaving the skin on the grape for a much shorter amount of time than red wine. Skin contact anywhere from a few hours to a few days can produce different shades of pink. Rosé wine is typically released in the spring or early summer and is an easy drinker somewhere in between white and red wine. These wines have seen a tremendous growth in popularity in recent years, and are now usually available year round at West Vail Liquor Mart.
The popularity growth of Rosé is so rapid that the rest of the beverage industry has taken notice and applied the term to virtually anything pink. For instance, we carry Three Olives’ Rosé Vodka. So what is Rosé vodka anyway? Looking at the bottle it is very vague. According to Three Olives it has “Hints of pomegranate that develops into blended red fruit and French oak.” So, at least there is an attempt here to reproduce some of the classic tasting notes of Rosé wine. Okay, I get it, but the process for this has nothing to do with Rosé wine. It is simply colored and flavored. No grape skin included.
The beer business is also on board. Most recently Oskar Blues Brewery released Guns and Rosé, a 6 percent ABV ale brewed with hibiscus and prickly pear. Well here we get a little closer. At least we have fruit in this one for color. But, does this process resemble the process for Rosé wine? Don’t believe the Florist! Fruit is simply added to the beer and fruit beers have been around longer than Rosé wine has. So really nothing new here, but it is delicious and refreshing.
So what does this all mean? What is Rosé anyway? It doesn’t matter all that much. Rosé wine does have a specific process it refers to and everything new that stems from it just refers to coloring. But should that stop you from trying Rosé beer or Vodka? Absolutely not! It’s Valentine’s Day and everything should be pink! So give them all a try and see what you like because that is all that really matters.
Rosé all day!
Dean LoRusso, Beer Buyer, West Vail Liquor Mart