Methods to Give Red Wine a Different Color

red-white-rose-wineMost red wines that are not quite red are considered rose. But it’s not just the color that gets them the classification that we know. They are actually processed quite differently although they are made from the same grape varieties that produce red wine.

Rose wine refers to the light colored, pinkish wine made from red or dark grapes but processed to look like white wine. Many people think that rose is a type of wine but it’s actually not. Rose is a style and not a type of wine. Its flavor, which ranges from acidic to fruity, actually depends upon the procedures observed by its maker especially during the fermentation process. What’s certain about the rose is it is best served chilled. It also goes well with a huge assortment of foods. Rose wine is great for social drinkers because of its flexibility and low-alcohol content.

If you ever wondered how rose wines got their color, this is your chance to know because this article is to relate the few methods how rose wines are made.

Maceration Method

In the wine making process, maceration refers to the stage when crushed grapes are left to mingle with the juice until the the juice gets the color, tannins and aroma that you like. In making red wine, this procedure usually lasts throughout the fermentation process. But for the rose, the juice is separated from the grape skins early or as soon as the desired pinkish shade is achieved. On some light rose wine varieties, the skins are allowed to stay with the juice for just a matter of hours prevent the juice from becoming too dark.

Vin Gris Method

Vin Gris refers to the method of making “gray wine.” It is applied when a wine maker intends to produce a nearly-white wine from red grapes. This style is commonly used in the making of red wine varieties that include the Pinot Noir and and Cinsault.

The Saignée Method

This method refers to the bleeding off of a small portion of the grape juice that’s intended to make red wine. Wine makers who intend to make a more concentrated red wine remove a portion of the grape juice shortly after the grapes were crushed. This allows the skins to influence the juice with their color and texture, resulting in a stronger and more intense red wine. After this, the wine maker can proceed to process the removed juice into rose wine.

There’s a big difference between maceration and the saignee method. In maceration, all the juices are separated from the skins once the desired color is obtained. In the saignee method, only a small portion is bled-off to be processed into rose wine. The remaining juice is left to mingle with skins until fermentation of the red wine is complete. Rose is actually a by-product of the red wine-making-process as far as the saignee method is concerned.


Blending is a rose wine making technique that is done by mixing white and red grapes. French wine makers in the Champagne region used to do this, but this method is not practiced generally nowadays, except for some individuals who use it to improve the color quality of their home-made wine.

For faster results, you may also make rose wine by blending finished red wine and finished white wine. It allows you to produce a rose wine that suits your personal preference.

These are the most popular methods used for making rose wine. Now that you know how they are made, you will no longer wonder if someone tells you that it is made from red or dark-skinned grapes.

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