Rosato: A Rosé by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet #ItalianFWT

Rosato can come from almost any region in Italy

Rosato can come from almost any region in Italy

#ItalianFWT Relaxes in the Shade with a Cool Glass of Rosato
With all due apologies to Romeo, Juliet and William Shakespeare, Rosato is the Italian name for Rosé. True to Mr. Shakespeare, however, you might also see a pink Italian wine with a name of Cerasuolo or Chiaretto, as all are what we call a Rosé. Our Italian Food, Wine & Travel (#ItalianFWT) group is focusing on Rosato this month, so you can find more recommendations toward the bottom of this post, even if they have a different name!

As in France, Italian Rosato is a tradition in some regions but not others. My Italian and expat friends tell me that Puglia Rosato is the best. Funny, as diligently as I have looked, I have yet to find one from Puglia here in Minnesota. Piemonte, Veneto, Alto Adige, Umbria, Sicilia, Sardegna, no problem. Puglia? Not so much. Hey Joe Kotnik, would you mind swinging through Puglia on your next trip?

Rosato ranges from bright orange to intense ruby

Rosato ranges from bright orange to intense ruby. I’d guess direct press wines are on the left and saignée wines are on the right.

Styles and Colors of Rosato
Rosato wines start from red wine grapes and can be made by two main methods:

  • Direct – Grapes are usually picked early for freshness and acidity, harvested, crushed, then separated from the skins after a few hours up to a day or two. These are usually the lighter colored rosato’s, ranging from salmon to a mid-orange color. They will be brightly acidic and lighter in body. They can be fruity with tart, fresh fruits, piquant orange peel or watermelon rind aromas.  Others are more savory or saline in character.  Unfortunately, you can’t tell which by the outside of the bottle. My own preference is for the tart fruit forward flavors.
  • Saignée – literally “bleeding” in French.  Red wine grapes are harvested as usual for red wine, crushed and left to macerate on the skins. After several days, some of the wine is bled off to finish fermentation and sold the following spring as rosato, the remaining red wine in the vat acquires a deeper color than it would have if all the liquid stayed in tank.  Double bonus, as the winery gets income sooner from rosato and a darker red wine (appealing to customers) later on. Saignée rosatos tend to taste closer to a light red wine with red fruit and a medium body.
  • Note: the only time it’s legal to mix red wine with white wine for rosé is in Rosé Champagne.

Rosato Wine Pairings
Think easy, fresh summer foods. Salad, light lunches of any sort, picnic meals, even roast chicken and seafood.  The foods needn’t be Italian, though they surely can be!  For the post today, I started with salad at lunch and finished the rosato with gazpacho during our 1st course at dinner.

The Graci Etna Bianco was brightly acidic and refreshing with a savory character

The Graci Etna Bianco was brightly acidic and refreshing with a savory character

Graci Etna Rosato DOC 2014 ($18 at Solo Vino wines)
I’m a member of the camp that avoids too serious analysis of rosato (and rosé) wines. Enjoy their fresh bright character and leave it at that!
Eye: Clear, bright orange in color.
Nose: Clean bright and fresh, but not fruity. Savory and a touch saline.
Mouth: Refreshing acidity, savory and just a suggestion of something saline, like the salt air near the coast.

#ItalianFWT Finds and Ideas
Join our Italian blogging group this Saturday, August 6 at 10am CDT on Twitter at ‪#‎ItalianFWT‬‬‬ to chat about Rosato wines from Italy.

Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla paired Pizza con Patate + Cantina Zaccagnini Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Rosé

Orna at Traveling Italy posted In the Pink: Rosato wines from Puglia

Christy at Confessions of a Culinary Diva shared Summer Sipping with Italian Rosés

Jennifer at Vino Travels went Around Italy with a Glass of Rosé

Jill at L’Occasion shared Rosé or Rosato? Is There a Difference?

Jeff at FoodWineClick mused Rosato: A Rosé by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

David at Cooking Chat paired Fresh Tomato Salsa Pasta with an Italian Rosato

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog had a #SundayFunday With Tormaresca Calafuria Rosé #ItalianFWT

Li at The Wining Hour shared There’s Rosé Under the Tuscan Sun too!

rosato_italianFWT_salad 20160730 66

15 Responses to “Rosato: A Rosé by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet #ItalianFWT”
  1. If you succeed in finding a Rosato from Puglia, promise to share it with the rest of us!

  2. Vino Travels says:

    That’s funny you can’t find one from Puglia but can all the other regions. When I got my certification they also taught us Puglia rosè is the best!

  3. Cooking Chat says:

    Good overview on rosatos. You picked some good simple summer food to pair with your bottle!

  4. Jill Barth says:

    That gazpacho is so vibrant next to the pale wine, gorgeous pairing. Thanks for the post, chat & suggestions!

  5. orna2013 says:

    You really need to visit Puglia! First of all, the Pugliese rosato wines are mostly a much darker pink than the one you photographed. Pugliese Rosato wines taste great when one is right there, as they are a perfect accompaniment to the light Pugliese diet of fish, pasta and burrata. These wines are far more interesting when tasted on site! 🙂

    • Orna, you sold me! I do want to schedule a future trip to the south: Puglia and Sicily. When we do, we’ll definitely contact you and Tom. Would love to meet in person!

  6. I’ve heard that before about rosato from Puglia, but I have never tried on either- if you end up getting your hands on one, let us know!

  7. Love gazpacho – one of our favorites! Lovely line up of rosatos – thanks for hosting!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Jeff at FoodWineClick mused Rosato: A Rosé by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet […]

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