Rose wine VS Blush wines

Rose Wine and Blush wines and what is the difference?

Many people ask me about the difference between rose and blush wines and why they often taste so very different. So i’d like to give you my perspective on these two styles of wine and why they vary so much from country to country and region to region.

It all starts with the grapes that are used in wine. All grapes when they are pressed will give a clear fluid it is only when that fluid comes into contact with the grape skins that colour is added to the liquid. Just try this the next time you have a mixed box of red and white grapes. Press the red and the white grapes in different hands and notice the clear liquid that comes from both of them.

So I’m guessing you think that red grapes must make rose wines right? Not necessarily as you can make rose wines with a white grape and add the skins of a red grape to get the colour. Some grapes such as Pinot Grigio actually start off as a white grape, then they develop freckles and turn into a bronzed reddish colour and often will go completely red. This is a strange occurrence and is one of the main reasons this wine is used in Pinot Grigio Blush. Pinot Blush is often dry in style with a light salmon pink colour.

Zinfandel Blush on the other hand is much darker in colour and is often far sweeter in style. It is typically made in the USA in the California area but is also made in Puglia in Italy where this grape is known as Primitivo. The Primitivo or Zinfandel grape when used in red wines has a high alcohol content and is often tannic in terms of mouth feel, yet when it is used in rose wines it is sweet. In many Zinfandel or Primitivo reds you can detect that sweetness hidden behind the tannins and full flavours.

So the best guide to choosing between a blush and a rose wine is to use the colour. Lighter pink colours generally mean dryer styles and the darker rose often means more sweetness. All the wines will have summer fruit complexity with hints of strawberries and raspberries but how much you like will depend on your own individual tastes.

I recommend you buy a dozen different styles of wines from different countries and get a few friends around to see which style suits you. Don’t be surprised if you all disagree though! This is what makes wine FUN!