What is Rosé Wine?

During the month of May Happy Hour City will be celebrating all things wine related. Each week we will educate you on the different types of wine, we will also show you how to make wine centered cocktails/drinks, and we will be giving you the inside scoop on some of the best wine bars & wineries around LA. 


Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels from highly dry Provençal rosé to sweet White Zinfandels and blushes. Rosé wines are made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all around the world. So grab a glass and let’s dive into some Rosé. (Really, sometimes don’t you wish you just had a swimming pool of the stuff?)


-Rosé is a type of wine that incorporates some of the colors from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. 

-It may be the oldest known type of wine, tracing back to Ancient Greece, as many of the methods used for darker red wine-making were not practiced in ancient wine-making. 

-The exact date of the first bottling of intentional Rosé is not known because we’re bad at keeping track of things but the Ancients would have been drinking wines far closer to Rosés than modern reds.

-The pale pinkish color of Rosé can vary in intensity and is the result of how long the grape juices were in contact with the grape skins during maceration. 

-For Rosé production, grape skins are only left in the maceration process for several hours as opposed to several days as is the case with most red wines. Brevity is the soul of wit and Rosé!

-The primary flavors of Rosé wine are red fruit, flowers, citrus, and melon, with a pleasant crunchy green flavor on the finish similar to celery or rhubarb. Of course, depending on the type of grape the rosé is made with, flavors can vary widely.

-For example, a deeply-colored Italian Aglianico rosé (yes we do mean “Rosato.” Can’t sneak anything by you!)-will offer up cherry and orange zest flavors. A pale-colored Grenache rosé from Provence in France will taste of honeydew melon, lemon, and celery.

A Brief History:



The Ancient Greeks (traders from the city of Phocaea) brought wines and vines to southern France around 600 BC when they founded the city of Marseille.

In the 2,600 years since the art and culture of winemaking have become central to the local way of life. 

In the time of the Greeks, all wines were generally pale in color – the color of today's rosés.

By the time that the Romans reached the area in 125 BC, the rosé wine produced there had a reputation across the Mediterranean for its high quality. But even with the Romans' introduction of red wine, rosé held firm in the area the Romans called Provincia Romana – today's Provence. 

Starting in the fourteenth century the nobility and military leaders managed many vineyards in Provence, laying the foundation for the region's modern-day viticulture (remember that one from our What Is Red Wine article do you? Good job!) 

Rosé became prestigious, the wine of kings and aristocrats. Which is why we all feel like royalty when we drink Rosé. Ok, that last part isn’t a real fact but c’mon you know you do. 

The history of rosé would take another dramatic turn following World War II when two Portuguese wine producing families both released sweet, slightly sparkling rosés to the European and American markets.

These wines, Mateus and Lancers, would go on to set record sales in Europe and the US and dominate the Portuguese wine industry for most of the 20th century. Their popularity has declined in recent years thanks to the trend towards traditional, drier rosés as well as the development of American "blush" wines like White Zinfandel. Hard to believe White Zinfandel ever dominated any market share but it's true!

Random Rose Fact:


The Mosé, is a cocktail from Matt Duckor, that includes tequila, citrus, and rosé. It's a rosé margarita! 

Rosé wine is going to be seen a lot more in the next few months as people love to drink this delicious wine in the summertime. Whether you like it on drier or sweeter side, bubbly or not, there’s a rosé out there for you. 

So get your sunglasses and the next time you're craving a taste of royalty, with a light pink color, grab some Rosé and drink with the Ancients. We’ll raise our glass too. Thanks for reading and as always...

Cheers from,

Happy Hour City!