Rosé wine is growing in popularity. It is especially appropriate for a light informal meal or for an aperitif. Make sure to store, serve, pair, and drink rosé wine the right way.
What rosé wine etiquette is
Rosé wine etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and drink rosé. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow rosé wine etiquette to appropriately serve it to your guests.
If you are a guest, respect rosé wine etiquette rules to properly drink and enjoy it.
What you should know about rosé wine
Rosé is a type of wine. It is usually a dry wine, but there are sweet varieties too. Rosé is not a specific type of grape, nor a mix of red and white wines or grapes. Its color is due to its fermentation process. Rosé is produced from red grapes in a similar way to red wine, but it ferments with grape skins for a shorter time. Thus, it gets a lighter color.
Rosé wines are mostly produced in several regions of France, such as Provence, Loire Valley, and the Rhone Valley. Italy and Spain are other large producers, respectively of Rosato and Rosado wines. Other producers are Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, the USA, and Australia.
Etiquette rules for serving and drinking Rosé
1) How to store rosé wine
Store rosé wine in a cool place. Keep the bottle away from direct light and from any source of heat.
Store the bottle in a horizontal position, to keep the cork moist. Dry corks might let the oxygen in and spoil the wine.
Do not store rosé wine in the fridge or in the freezer.
2) How to prepare rosé
Rosé wines do not need decanting.
Place rosé in a bucket of water and ice 30 to 45 minutes before serving. Alternatively, place it in the fridge at least one hour before serving.
3) How to serve & present rosé wine
Serve rosé chilled but not ice cold. The ideal temperature is between 4°C and 10°C (40°F and 50°F). As a general rule, the higher the quality of rosé, the warmer the serving temperature.
Present rosé in its bottle. After opening the bottle, you should place it in a bucket of water and ice to keep it chilled.
It is good etiquette to open the bottle at the dining table.
4) When to serve & drink rosé
It is not common to serve rosé on formal occasions. Such as a formal dinner party. Rosé wines are a good option mostly for informal occasions.
Dry rosé is ideal as an aperitif or aperitivo. You can pair it with salads, and meat or fish courses during a meal. You can also serve it to accompany a light lunch, brunch, or barbecue.
Sweet rosé is appropriate to accompany dessert or fruit salads.
5) Food & aromas to pair rosé with
Light rosé wines pair well with sushi, fish, salads, cheese, and light-cooked white meats.
Rich rosé wines can be paired with grilled white meat and with red meat. Avoid pairing it with spicy and salty foods, very savory food, BBQ-sauced foods, or pizza.
6) Etiquette for drinking rosé
Drink rosé in white wine glasses. Hold the glass by its stem to avoid warming the wine with your hand.
Drink it in small sips. A glass of rosé should last between 10 and 20 minutes. Never drink shots of rosé wine.
In France, it is considered acceptable to add ice to rosé. However, this is usually done only with low-quality rosé.
Rosé wine etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst rosé wine etiquette mistakes.
- 10/10. Getting drunk.
- 7/10. Serving rosé warm.
- 7/10. Drinking shots of rosé.
- 7/10. Not holding the glass by the stem.
- 5/10. Overfilling the glass.
- 3/10. Pairing rosé with the wrong food.
Additional information for properly serving rosé
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Rosé wine contains about 80 calories per 100 ml (3.5 oz). A glass of rosé is typically 150 ml (5 oz) and contains 120 calories.
How to buy the best rosé
A crucial factor in rosé etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Rosé is available all year round.
Choose the best
The most popular rosé wines are from France. Look for an AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée) certification on the bottle. AOC guarantees that the producers respected a set of rules to make the wine and meet quality standards.
Alternatives to rosé
You can substitute rosé with Italian Rosato or Spanish Rosado. Other valid options are light white wines.
- Bordeaux Rosé: bordeaux.com