azur rose wine, the preferred drink of the sweet summer months,

Rosé Wine Guide: How to Choose a Rosé

The preferred drink of the sweet summer months, rosé is finally getting the year-round recognition it deserves as a staple wine. Light and refreshing, rosé is one of the most versatile types of wine, making it a great choice for a variety of occasions. It pairs well with food, so it’s served well with meals, and this pink wine is often a favorite choice for a girl’s night out or any occasion to celebrate good food and great wines..

But what is a good rosé? And how do you select the best rosé wine?

Read on for everything you need to know about rosé.

What Is a Good Rosé?: Your Ultimate Rosé Wine Guide

Rosé is an exquisite wine that is pink in color – a result of pigment from the red grapes with which it’s made. Not a red wine or a white wine, rosé wine is in a class all of its own. Depending on how the wine was crafted, rosé can range in color from a deep magenta to even a light orange or salmon hue.

Rose wine is a kind of wine that is pink in color, a result of pigment from the red grapes.

It’s a common misconception that rosé wine is simply red wine and white wine mixed together – and while this is a crude way of making rosé, it’s not the true way. Authentic rosé goes through its own production process for a product that is quickly becoming a staple in the world of wine.

While rosé can be sweet, it is generally one of the driest wines. Many enjoy sparkling rosé, but sparkling rosé wines can have a bit of bubble to it.. Though its taste varies based on where and how it was produced, it’s often filled with notes of citrus, strawberry or raspberry.

Old vs. New World Rosé – What’s the Difference?

two bottles showing the new world rose wine and old world rose wine.

Rosé styles can be very different based on where they are grown and the producer. You’ll quickly learn that there are significant differences between Old World rosé and New World rosé. But what are those differences?

Old World Rosé

Old World rosé is steeped in the history and heritage of traditional winemaking. Crafted with European techniques – rosé wine is most commonly associated with Côtes de Provence and other nearby regions in southern France – these wines are very dry, and tend to be lighter in body.

New World Rosé

New World rosé, on the other hand, is often produced via more modern and technologically advanced processes. It may be sweeter than its Old World counterpart, and tends to be heavier in body. More quality focused New World rosé is dry and produced with the intention to be a rosé and never a bi-product of red wine production.

How Is the Best Rosé Wine Produced?

Here at Azur Wines, our rosé is critically acclaimed – pioneering the first dry, premium rosé in the Napa Valley. We believe that is entirely due to the process by which we produce our high-quality rosé wine, Intentionally. Every step of the growing process, production and winemaking is always meant to be rosé. The fruit is dedicated to rosé production and harvested at optimal ripeness for rosé. We harvest 4-6 weeks earlier than you would if you were producing a red wine. This provides balanced acidity paired with the ideal ripeness to produce a rosé with finesse and delicate fruit expression.

Azur authentic rose wine served in the table.

Many wineries produce their rosé as an afterthought – a byproduct of their red wine. Anything that doesn’t make the quality cut for their red wine is set aside and used for rosé. This results in lower quality rosé.

At Azur Wines, we believe in producing our rosé intentionally. Our rosé is never an afterthought – it’s crafted with rosé in mind. We harvest our grapes intended for rosé young. Doing this provides more acidity and brightness.

There are a number of processes by which rosé wine is produced. Here are a few of the most common.

Direct Press

The direct press method is the most common method for making Provence-style rosé, which is our specialty at Azur Wines. In this method, the grapes are pressed after harvest to extract the juice from the skin of the grape. This happens almost immediately, and the short timespan with which the juice and the skin are in contact results in a very light pink color.

The logo of Azur Wineries in the bottle of rose wine.

Traditional winemakers believe that direct press rosé is the purest and most high-quality way to produce rosé as it preserves the excellence of the wine’s flavor and thus creates the best rosé wine..


The word “Saignée” means “to bleed,” and this method of rosé production does just that. In the Saignée method, winemakers are using red grapes intended for red wine to make their rosé.

First, they allow the grapes to ferment for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. This fermentation time results in a deeper pink juice than one would get from the direct press method. Once the grapes have fermented, they “bleed” a portion of the juice aside to be made into rosé, while the rest goes towards creating red wine.

The Saignée method yields a deep, complex, rich rosé that is often associated with Spain or other regions in France.

Limited Skin Maceration

Limited skin maceration is one of the most common ways of making rosé. In this method the red grapes are harvested, crushed, and then soaked for up to 48 hours. The longer that the grapes are soaked, the more time the juice has to interact with the skins of the grapes, which means that a longer soak results in a deeper pink wine.

Rosé crafted by limited skin maceration is often very complex and full bodied due to the extended contact with the skin of the grapes.


The blending method is just what it sounds like – blending white wine and red wine together to create rosé. The white wine dilutes the red, resulting in the pink juice that we know as rosé.

Azure wine glasses filled with a vibrant shot of rosé wine, a delightful blend of white and red wine.

This method is often used to make rosé champagne, as incorporating a red wine such as Pinot Noir to something like Chardonnay allows the flavors of both to shine. Blended wines have a high flavor complexity, which is exciting for experienced winemakers to experiment with.

FAQs: What to Know about the Best Rosé Wine?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you select a bottle of rosé wine.

What Does Rosé Taste Like?

Each bottle of rosé is different – after all, there are so many different varieties and production styles of rosé. Rosé is often filled with fruit flavors, and carries a refreshing acidity. You might experience floral notes or whispers of red fruit, such as red berries.

What Foods Pair Well with Rosé?

Rosé is an incredibly versatile wine, and pairs well with many culinary options that will please your palate. Enjoy a dry rosé with light foods such as salad, fish, or grilled chicken, or expand to a broader range of food options that will sometimes balance salty or spicy flavors.

Just don’t serve rosé with dessert – sugar will make the wine taste bitter.

Perfect rose wine pairing with salad, fish, grilled chicken, salty or spicy flavors.

How Should I Serve Rosé?

The best rosé wine is served cold, which is why it has quickly become a summertime staple. Whether lightly chilled or just out of the fridge, it’s a great choice for any season to enhance your gatherings and events. But don’t relegate rosé to solely the spring and summer months – we firmly believe that rosé is to be served year round.

When Is National Rosé Day?

National Rosé Day is celebrated each year on the second Saturday of June. It’s the perfect day to plan a picnic, brunch, or meal with friends.

Enjoy the Perfect Glass of Rosé at the Azur Wines Tasting Lounge

Azur Wines tasting lounge in downtown Napa.

Come experience our top of the line rosé for yourself at the Azur Wines tasting lounge in stylish downtown Napa. We’re proud to serve critically acclaimed Provence-style rosé in addition to many more unique, often inaccessible wines.

Not in the Napa area? Order online to enjoy our premium rosé in the comfort of your own home.

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