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The finest California rose wines are made by letting the dark skins of the grapes remain long enough in the fermenting vats for the wine to obtain the proper pink color. A few dark grapes automatically yield a light-colored wine which is then sometimes bottled as a rose. The cheaper roses are made simply by blending red and white wine together to the desired color.
The best known varietals include Grenache, Gamay, and Grignolino, while even the precious true Pinot noir grape is used for the purpose. The generic rose wines are labeled either as "Vin Rose" (Pink Wine) or simply as "Rose:"
Use and Service-All roses are popular as light luncheon or supper wines, with all simple and informal meals and on picnics. They are best when served very cold. Chill for about three hours.
A rose also makes a fine cooling drink when served in a tall glass with ice.
VARIETALS GRENACHE ROSP, (Gre-nash' Ro-zay') The Grenache is the grape responsible for the famous French Rose wines from the Tavel region in the Rhone Valley.
In California the Grenache is best suited to the coolest regions of the northern coastal counties where it yields one of the most typical and best rose wines of California. While generally dry, some semisweet Grenache Rose is also produced.
GAMAY ROSE Produced from one of the varieties of the Gamay grape, this is an excellent rose table wine, hailing notably from the Napa Valley. It is also used in a number of generic roses, bottled under special names thought up by the winegrower.
Grignolino Rose The Grignolino grape yields a light-colored red wine and with little effort, therefore, a rose type of wine can be produced from it. This popular varietal is mostly identified with the Cucamonga district in San Bernardino County.
Cabernet Rose The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is used in a number of generic roses. Plans are to produce it also as a varietal.
Pinot Noir Rose A rare and choice rose table wine produced in the mountains of the Santa Clara Valley.
GENERIC California Vin Rose or Rose These wines are produced from a variety of grapes including those used for the varietal types and from a number of others such as Zinfandel, Mourestel, and Valdepelias. They are often marketed under a special name. The lesser grades of generic roses are simply blends of red and white wines.
While the more typical and best rose wines are dry in character, quite a few are on the sweeter side, containing a slight amount of residual sugar. Some even are quite sweet.