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Rosé - what is this pink wine?

You asked and we answered - Here are your top 10 questions about rosé

what is rosé


Don't feel like white wine, don't feel like red wine... go for a rosé. We are not sure if the resurgence for rosé is due to all those indecisive drinkers out there but we are certain that this pink drink is growing in popularity and will continue to for a while.

What was once a sickly sweet and fruity wine option is now refined and dry. It's a wine with versatility, it matches with a range of foods and also perfect in a Friday night cocktail. 

There is some mystery surrounding this pink variety and we have found many of you have questions. Is it a red wine? Is it a white wine? is it a mix of both? 

We've gathered the top 10 questions and asked our legend of a winemaker Duncan to answer them for you. 

Want to become the rosé expert? Then read on.

what is rosé wine

1. Why are some rosé’s sweet and others are dry?

Depends on what style your looking for savoury (food wine) or sweet (drinking wine). To create sweetness the fermentation is stopped early with a combination of cooling and preservative to retain natural sugars. Our rose is fermented to dryness for a more savoury style to complement food etc. We still ferment cold and have good quality fruit which creates fruit flavour sweetness without the sugar for drinking on its own.

2. Is rosé a red or white wine? What wine variety is it?

Rose is made from red wine grapes.The main variety in the 6Ft6 rosé is pinot noir (red wine). A small amount of alternative varieties such as gamay are also used to build complexity and a more interesting flavour profile.

3. How does it become pink? How is it made?

We draw off a small amount of juice from our earlier picked pinot noir as soon as it is harvested before it picks up too much colour from the red skins. We also lightly press other parcels of fruit to capture the desired pink juice.

After the pink juice is separated from the skins it is fermented like a white wine. It is placed in stainless steel to ferment at a cool 15C to retain delicate aromatics and freshness.

The fermented wine is left on solids for as long as possible to create texture and creaminess.

4. The difference between white Shiraz or rose or are they the same thing?

White shiraz is the same as rose. Another popular rose is white zinfandel.

5. Which grapes are typically used? Is it usually one variety or a blend? 

You can use any red variety for rose. Different varieties impact colour and flavour differently. Eg pinot noir will produce are more copper colour than shiraz which is naturally more pink. Grenache and pinot noir roses are usually more fruitier than sangiovese and cabernet which are usually dryer and more savoury.

6. What meals does rose go well with?

Rose is a very versatile wine to pair with food as it usually does not have too strong flavour and good acid to cleanse the pallatte.

Our suggestion for 6ft6 Rosé is to eat it with a charcuterie board, perfect with a salty prosciutto and creamy goats cheese.

rosé food and cheese match

7. What makes it sweet or dry? Can you tell by the colour?

Check the alcohol. If it is around 12% or higher it is usually dry. Lower alcohol means that some sugar has been left and not fermented to alcohol (sweet).

The colour is only an indication of how long the juice was in contact with the skins, not an indication of sweetness.

8. Ice in rose - right or wrong?

Ice is ok to chill down wine fast but it will dilute the flavours as it melts.

9. At what temperature should you serve rosé wine?

We recommend serving rosé at 7 degrees celcius. This is only slightly warmer than the average fridge temperature, so straight from the fridge is best. 

10. How do you make frosé?

We have tried and tested many frosé recipes and the best one we have found is this:

frosé recipe

Frosé recipe


1 bottle of 6Ft6 rosé

150ml vanilla sugar syrup

 (or sugar syrup and vanilla essence)

150ml water

Strawberries or persian fairy floss for garnish


1. Pour rose,  vanilla syrup and mineral water into a jug and stir

2. pour mixture into a zip lock bag and place into the freezer for at least 6 hours

3. Put mixture into a blender and puree until it becomes an icy consistency (if you don't have a blender, pound the zip lock bag onto the bench a few times but make sure it is closed!)

4. Divide between glasses and garnish with a strawberry

You can download our full cocktail recipe book here.

Did your rosé questions get answered? If not, write them in the comments below and Duncan can answer them for you. 

Love the post? We would really appreciate a share across your social media. 

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