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Amista Vineyards

Vicky Farrow
June 20, 2024 | Sparkling Moments in Wine | Vicky Farrow

Everything You Need to Know About Rosé

What it is, how it's made, perfect pairings...Amista Rose de Tres - a Toast to Friendship

...and a special celebration with Amista Rosé de Tres

Rosés Have Exploded in Popularity

Dry, crisp rosés are surging in popularity across the U.S. Wine expert Liz Thach notes in Forbes that U.S. rosé sales volume skyrocketed by an incredible 1433% from 2010 to 2020. It seems I'm not the only one who loves rosés, especially as the weather warms and lighter foods dominate our plates.

What is Rosé Wine?

If you're reading this, you likely have some idea, but let's make sure we’re on the same page. Rosés, distinct from blush wines, are generally considered more premium. Those tracking rosé sales typically focus on wines priced at $7 and above per bottle, explicitly labeled as rosé. Like their European counterparts, these wines are dry.

How is Rosé Made?

Contrary to popular belief, rosé is not made by blending red and white wines. Instead, it is crafted entirely from red grapes using one of two methods:

  1. Limited Skin Contact: Red grapes are harvested and left to sit on their skins for only a few hours before pressing. This brief contact gives the wine its pink hue, unlike red wine, which develops a deeper color from extended skin contact lasting days, weeks, or even months.
  2. Saignée Method: Saignée, meaning "bleeding" in French, involves pulling juice from a tank of red grapes early in the maceration process when it is lighter in color. This lighter juice is then fermented separately as rosé. While some consider this method a byproduct of concentrating red wine, others use saignée intentionally to produce both red and rosé wines.

What Pairs Well with Rosé Wines?

Rosés pair beautifully with a variety of dishes. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Steamed mussels with crusty bread
  • Greek salad
  • Chicken and avocado salad
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Linguine with pesto
  • Thin spaghetti with cherry tomato and garlic sauce
  • Seafood paella

Does Amista Make a Rosé?

Yes! Our Rosé de Tres is our current release, and it has quickly become my go-to wine for many recent evenings. Considered a Rhône-style rosé, as described by Wine Enthusiast, it is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Over our 20-year history, we’ve crafted several different rosés, starting with our first Rosé of Syrah, which came about serendipitously.

That initial wine inspired the creation of our first sparkling wine, Sparkling Syrah. Today, we offer four sparkling rosés: Sparkling Syrah, Sparkling Grenache, Sparkling Mataró (made from Mourvèdre grapes), and Sparkling Tres. But let's return to our Rosé de Tres.

What About Rosé All Day?

Our winemaker, Ashley Herzberg, often says she enjoys pairing our Rosé de Tres with a porch swing. It’s also perfect for the beach or lounging by the pool on a hot afternoon. Last Saturday, my friend Miriam and I enjoyed rosé—not all day, but all evening. The following Monday would have been my late husband and co-founder Mike’s 81st birthday, so Miriam and I celebrated in his honor. Mike’s favorite Amista wine was Tres, our red blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, but on that hot day, I chose the Rosé version for his birthday celebration.

A Special Celebration - Cheers to Mike!

Miriam and I began our evening on the back deck where Mike and I used to sit in the same director’s chairs, watching the dogs play in the yard. It was a truly “sparkling moment” as we gazed out over the vineyards, the sun setting over the hills, with a glass of wine and a good friend. Miriam kept spreading her arms, looking at the view, and exclaiming, “This, this; need I say more?” We enjoyed simple hors d'oeuvres—roasted potatoes, cucumber wedges, and pita chips with a red pepper dipping sauce—that paired nicely with the rosé.

After a happy hour (or maybe longer, since we had a lot to catch up on), we put on our aprons and got to work. Miriam wore Mike’s Fire BBQ apron, which brought a small tear to my eye (I miss cooking with him). She made Mike’s favorite dessert, strawberry shortcake with a twist: chocolate shortcake, a variation he discovered several years ago. He served it for the first time at a breakfast meeting with winemaker Ashley, who has never forgotten the treat.

I was in charge of sautéing fresh corn and grilling salmon. Mike loved salmon and was a master at the grill; I am now teaching myself how to use it. The Rosé de Tres was amazing with the grilled salmon, offering fresh berry fruit, citrus notes, and wonderful acidity.

Amista Rose de Tres Paired with Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

After dinner, we assembled our strawberry chocolate shortcakes, added candles, and proposed another toast to Mike’s birthday. The Rosé was with us the entire evening, a delightful companion to the back deck, the sunset, every course (including dessert), several toasts, and, most importantly, a precious friendship.

Still Thirsty?

If you want to learn more, here is a curated list of resources.

Hot Brands And Instagram Are Fueling Rosé Wine’s Phenomenal Growth Rate In The U.S. Market by Liz Thach in Forbes

A Quick Guide to Rosé Wine in Wine Enthusiast

What Do We Mean When We Say Rhône-style Wine? in Wine Enthusiast

Raising Our Glass to Mike Farrow, Amista Winemaker Emeritus and Co-founder, 1943 - 2023


Discover Rosé: What it is, how it's made, perfect pairings, and a special celebration with Amista Rosé de Tres in Healdsburg, California.


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