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I'm no expert on Rose but it appears that it is not necessary either red or white wine.

My question is historically or even now is there any benefit / interesting flavor combinations that are made through mixing various ratios of various types of red and white together?

  • Just for anyone reading this in the future do not mix crisp white with chill-able red box wine unless you have chicken bap then its really good – questionerofdy Feb 28 at 3:31
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Your question seems to be based on a false assumption. Rose is not a "mix" of red and white wine.

Red wine is produced by (red) grapes which have their skins left on during fermentation, white wine is produced from pealed grapes (of any colour).

Rose is produced by extracting the skins (or red grapes) at some point in the fermentation process.

It's a common misconception!

Source: Napareserva


To answer the clarification in the comments:

Often wine is blended to bring in the best parts of different grapes:

The goal in blending is to bring together wines that don’t stand alone to make a wine that is superior to its parts. There is a big difference between blending, which is meant to improve your wine, and mixing, which is intended to make something — like an off-flavor —go away. Source: WineMaker

Personally - being brought up to appreciate good wines - the idea of mixing red and white is blasphemy. They are just too different and therefore do not follow the "rules" laid out in the link above.

However, I did find evidence that it has been considered - I imagine you could end up with a wine very similar to a Rose if you got the balance right. I'm not sure I can really credit that with being a "source" though.

This answer has been asked elsewhere though and, although I don't often like to just copy and paste an answer from elsewhere but the last paragraph seemed exactly what you are looking for:

Rosé is popular nowadays and some producers do mix red and white wine grapes in order to satisfy demand, it's all about business, after all, however, such wines tend to be made of not very high quality grapes because there is no point in mixing the grapes or wines of premium quality together since they will cancel out their flavours anyway. Sometimes, producers will add some extra sugar to the mix in order to balance out or mask the shortcomings of taste that appeared due to mixing the products that are not supposed to be mixed.

The post also goes into more detail about why they are generally too different.

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  • My bad my question wasn't clear enough. I meant the Rose example as more of something that isn't exactly white or red. What I'm most interested and the goal of my question is if any interesting wine is made through mixing red and white together. If not then that would answer my question. – questionerofdy Feb 20 at 2:08
  • @Questionerofdy updated! – Bee Feb 20 at 10:54
  • Thanks Bee, exactly what I was looking for – questionerofdy Feb 20 at 19:07
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One can make outstanding rosé by mixing red and white grapes, but that is not the same thing as mixing red and white wine. Based on process, rosé is made (with an exception to be described below) just as a white wine: fermenting only the juice of a grape, not the skins. Fermentation in this instance is what happens when yeast consumes the sugars in the must (defined as the juice or juice/skins - possibly stems, too, whatever is being fermented)). Red wines are made by fermenting juice and skin of grapes. A wine's color primarily comes from the skins. Most 'red' or 'black' grapes used for wine have dark skins, but clear flesh. If you press them quickly and remove the skins, you'll have white juice (blanc de noirs, in French wine terms). To make a rosé, vintners typically take red grapes, press them gently, and let the juice and skins macerate together for a short time in order for some of the pigments from skin tint the still unfermented juice. When the winemaker decides there is enough color, he/she/they removes the skins and then ferments the now pink juice. Just like white wines, there is no fermentation on the skins. It should be added that many white wines are made with some amount of pre-fermentation skin contact, too, since the winemaker might want to extract some aromatic or structural elements from the skins. Since 'white' grapes don't have dark color, this extraction does not significantly change the color of the unfermented juice or must. A winemaker might decided that the rosé might be improved by blending some unfermented juice from white grapes to the must, or, perhaps, blend the fermented pink juice (now wine), with other fermented white juice, again, wine. Understand, the pink wine (rosé) is not red wine. It is made just like white wine - especially those white wines made by some pre-fermentation skin contact as described above. This blending is not at all a cheat. Some of the finest rosé wines are made that way, including the most expensive still rosé on the market, Gérard Bertrand's Clos du Temple, made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Viognier, the latter being a white grape, retails for $190/bottle. A great number of far less expensive rosés are made similarly.

So, about the exception: sparkling rosé wine can be made by blending a little red wine into white. The reason for this might be chalked up to historical precedence as well problems getting red grapes properly ripe in the Champagne region of northern France, but also since most quality sparkling wine is made by a process of double fermentation. That is, a base, still wine is made that is then put into bottles with a little yeast and a little sugar, then sealed by using a crown cap (a soda bottle cap). The yeast consumes the sugar, creating the by-products of alcohol (not much, since there isn't much sugar) and carbon dioxide, which creates the bubbles. A good deal of this base wine is in fact made from red grapes like Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are pressed quickly with skins immediately removed, often blended with Chardonnay, in order to make white sparkling wine. However, it is permissible to add a quantity of still red wine (made by fermenting on the skins) to the white base wine, before it goes into bottles for secondary fermentation. Since fermentation will, in fact, be achieved now, without skin contact, the resulting bubbly rosé passes muster. Truth be told, no one cares about the rationalization, they just do it that way. The influence that the Champagne region has on the broader world of sparkling wines has meant that the practice of coloring the otherwise white base wine with red wine has spread to them, as well.

The prohibition against blending red and white wine for rosé, by the way, is pretty much a European thing. You can do it in the US, but I don't know any quality producers who do so. Surely, a lot of the cheap stuff is made that way, basically because the needs of production for huge volumes of wine that doesn't have to be all that good require flexibility.

By the way, it has become fashionable in the past decade or so (though the practice is thousands of years old), to ferment white grapes on their skins, too, essentially making a red wine from white grapes. Well, sort of. What do you get when you mix red with yellow (which is the actual color of most ripe white wine grapes)? Orange. Hence, what are

One can make outstanding rosé by mixing red and white grapes, but that is not the same thing as mixing red and white wine. Based on process, rosé is made (with an exception to be described below) just as a white wine: fermenting only the juice of a grape, not the skins. Fermentation in this instance is what happens when yeast consumes the sugars in the must (defined as the juice or juice/skins - possibly stems, too, whatever is being fermented)). Red wines are made by fermenting juice and skin of grapes. A wine's color primarily comes from the skins. Most 'red' or 'black' grapes used for wine have dark skins, but clear flesh. If you press them quickly and remove the skins, you'll have white juice (blanc de noirs, in French wine terms). To make a rosé, vintners typically take red grapes, press them gently, and let the juice and skins macerate together for a short time in order for some of the pigments from skin tint the still unfermented juice. When the winemaker decides there is enough color, he/she/they removes the skins and then ferments the now pink juice. Just like white wines, there is no fermentation on the skins. It should be added that many white wines are made with some amount of pre-fermentation skin contact, too, since the winemaker might want to extract some aromatic or structural elements from the skins. Since 'white' grapes don't have dark color, this extraction does not significantly change the color of the unfermented juice or must. A winemaker might decided that the rosé might be improved by blending some unfermented juice from white grapes to the must, or, perhaps, blend the fermented pink juice (now wine), with other fermented white juice, again, wine. Understand, the pink wine (rosé) is not red wine. It is made just like white wine - especially those white wines made by some pre-fermentation skin contact as described above. This blending is not at all a cheat. Some of the finest rosé wines are made that way, including the most expensive still rosé on the market, Gérard Bertrand's Clos du Temple, made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Viognier, the latter being a white grape, retails for $190/bottle. A great number of far less expensive rosés are made similarly.

So, about the exception: sparkling rosé wine can be made by blending a little red wine into white. The reason for this might be chalked up to historical precedence as well problems getting red grapes properly ripe in the Champagne region of northern France, but also since most quality sparkling wine is made by a process of double fermentation. That is, a base, still wine is made that is then put into bottles with a little yeast and a little sugar, then sealed by using a crown cap (a soda bottle cap). The yeast consumes the sugar, creating the by-products of alcohol (not much, since there isn't much sugar) and carbon dioxide, which creates the bubbles. A good deal of this base wine is in fact made from red grapes like Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are pressed quickly with skins immediately removed, often blended with Chardonnay, in order to make white sparkling wine. However, it is permissible to add a quantity of still red wine (made by fermenting on the skins) to the white base wine, before it goes into bottles for secondary fermentation. Since fermentation will, in fact, be achieved now, without skin contact, the resulting bubbly rosé passes muster. Truth be told, no one cares about the rationalization, they just do it that way. The influence that the Champagne region has on the broader world of sparkling wines has meant that the practice of coloring the otherwise white base wine with red wine has spread to them, as well.

The prohibition against blending red and white wine for rosé, by the way, is pretty much a European thing. You can do it in the US, but I don't know any quality producers who do so. Surely, a lot of the cheap stuff is made that way, basically because the needs of production for huge volumes of wine that doesn't have to be all that good require flexibility.

By the way, it has become fashionable in the past decade or so (though the practice is thousands of years old), to ferment white grapes on their skins, too, essentially making a red wine from white grapes. Well, sort of. What do you get when you mix red with yellow (which is the actual color of most ripe white wine grapes)? Orange. Hence, what are called "orange" wines.

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    Welcome to the SE - looks like you have quoted an article in there, please can you add a source? – Bee Mar 26 at 12:20

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