Make Me Blush: A flight of PA rosés perfect for spring

It’s time to think pink. To celebrate the fact that the weather is finally warming up, we’ve put together a fascinating flight of Pennsylvania rosés, going from lightest to most full-bodied. Raise a glass to warm nights and chilled wines.

Rosés are wines with a pinkish hue, typically accomplished by leaving the skin of red grapes in contact with the wine for a limited period of time. Yes, this technique means that you can make many different styles from certain red-skinned, white-juiced grapes like Pinot Noir — white (where the skins are removed immediately), blush (short contact with skins), and red (extended contact).

White Merlot

While you might be more familiar with red Merlots, this varietal can also be made into a light, drinkable blush wine, ranging from off-dry to dry. Winemakers limit the juice’s exposure to the dark red skin of the grape, resulting in a pale pink wine with fewer tannins. Look for flavors of raspberries and summer fruit.

Steuben

Steuben is most commonly employed in sweet and off-dry wines, which accentuates its light, fruity quality. It’s also known for its hint of spice and honey, earning the nickname “ambrosia.” While the black-skinned grape is often used to produce red wine, it is becoming increasingly popular in a rosé or blush style. These pink vintages exhibit berry notes and whiffs of cinnamon.

Pink Catawba

This hybrid grape — a cross between native Vitis labrusca vines and imported Vitis vinifera — is red, but it produces wines that are lighter in color. Another signature style for this grape is “Pink Catawba,” produced in a similar way to White Merlot. These wines are bright, smooth, and on the sweeter side with medium-body and moderate acidity, alongside mild berry and fresh fruit notes.

Delaware

Unlike most native varietals, Delaware does not display the typical foxy aroma, but it does boast classic grapey pop in addition to flavors of candied apple and strawberry. As opposed to the above grapes, Delaware actually has pink skin, which imparts a lovely color to the resulting wines. These wines are typically off-dry and on the fuller side, with medium acidity.

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