Rosé Wine, a pleasant rediscovery
Spring is in full blooming and progressing towards the summer season, the days are getting longer and brighter and it is a pleasure to stay outdoors, perhaps sipping a good glass of fresh wine, fragrant with flowers, crunchy fruit, sweetly dry and light. A wine that can be perfect as an aperitif, together with a simple assortment of fragrant focaccia, fresh cheeses, some olives or a bruschetta with extra virgin olive oil from the latest harvest, but with which you can also continue with a light dinner with seasonal vegetables, grilled fish, maybe a fresh tomato and basil pasta or a cold soup with bright colors like the wine itself, which, you have already understood from the description, could be a rosé from the last harvest, young, bright in color tones and with excellent drinkability.
Do you know what a rosé wine is? Well, definitely it is not an assembly of white and red wines, but is produced from red grape varieties with a quick maceration on the skins, before racking it off and continuing as for a white wine fermentation.
The short extraction of color and the acidity given by the early harvesting of the grapes will provide the color tone and brightness of the wine, which will also maintain the origin grapes aromas, but with the typical characteristics of a white wine. The hue of the color is given both by the anthocyanin content in the grape of origin, and the length of time the must stays on the skins, which can vary from a few minutes to 24-36 hours, giving colors ranging from pale pink, passing from cherry to claret.
Almost all the most important wine regions in the world have their rosé wines, but there are some areas especially famous for their rosé, such as Provence in France and Puglia in Italy where, in Salento, Leone de Castris bottled in 1943 the first Italian rosé label, the Five Roses.
In Tuscany the origins of rosé wine date back to the Middle Ages and this tradition was maintained during the sharecropping period, which for centuries shaped the territory and the local agricultural society.
A small part of the must from the lower part of the vats was "ruspato" that means it was stolen from the owner by the sharecroppers before being transported to the cellar, and stored in demijohns during the winter, obtaining the "vin ruspo" a light and drinkable rosé, used by farmers as a source of energy during field work. This "technique", later called bloodletting, is still used to concentrate color and extractive substances in the must of red wines.
Nowadays, the majority of rosé wines are instead produced with an early harvest, light pressing and fast permanence on the skins, before the white vinification.
In Chianti the rosés are mainly obtained from Sangiovese, the grape symbol of the territory, which gives the wine freshness and fragrance, with fruity notes of wild strawberry, blackberry and blueberry and delicate vegetable aromas.
The Sangiovese-based rosé wines from the Chianti area are extremely versatile when paired with traditional spring and summer dishes. The fresh juiciness of the fruit and the well-balanced acidity make it an excellent companion to an aperitif, or to fish dishes, whether grilled, baked or in traditional soups, but also for pasta stuffed with ricotta and herbs, such as “tortelli maremmani” or even with delicate meats, like poultry or rabbit. The association with an intense and dark rose enhances the cereal and legume soups, while pizza or ham and cheese stuffed focaccia, the traditional Tuscan “ciaccini”, see them as an excellent alternative to the traditional draft beer.