Finger Lakes Wine Primer: Dry Rosé

Shorter growing seasons may not be favorable in other parts of the world, but that limitation has proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Finger Lakes. It has determined our legacy. Certain grapes prefer a cooler climate, resulting in wines of higher acidity that are now being celebrated for their prowess at the dinner table. In this post, we’re focusing on Dry Rosé.

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Pink is back, baby. And it’s dressed in brand new attire. Once assumed to be sweet (thanks to the popularity of White Zinfandel), many of the pink wines that you come across these days can be surprisingly dry. A whole new generation of Rosé wine lovers has discovered a secret that has been well kept for way too long.

Dry Rosé wines are made from red grapes. That is, the juice comes from a grape that has a red skin. The juice inside a red grape is clear. So to make red wine, you must crush the grapes and let the juice sit on the skin to absorb the red color. Rosé juice sits on the skins just long enough to get a touch of blush color.

Served chilled like a white, but with inherent flavors of a red, these wines are the best of both worlds. The original classic Rosé wines of Europe (Provence, the Loire Valley, Rioja, Sicily, etc.) are dry wines made for food. Bright acidity, delicate floral notes, and focused red fruit flavors make these charming wines universally appealing. Plus they are very easy on the eyes!

Finger Lakes Dry Rosés are made from grapes like Cabernet Franc, Lemberger and Pinot Noir. A current Dry Rosé campaign has joined almost two dozen wineries in an effort to promote these unsung heroes. The motto is “dry, delicate and diverse, and perfect when drunk cool in the spring and summer.” Try them. You won’t be sorry. –Holly Howell

The above is excerpted from a larger piece in our 2013 Wine issue.

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