First of all can we dispel the myth that Rosé wine is a blend of red and white wine - it isn't - apart from Rosé Champagne and the newly listed Malbrontes below. It is made solely from Red grapes.
Grape juice of course is colourless, the colour of the final wine comes initially from the grape skins, although obviously oak barrel ageing also adds colour. Even white wines, such as Chardonnay, will derive a certain colour from the skins, though the juice is not left on the skins for the same length of time as reds. The production of Red wines involves the juice fermenting with the grape skins for a week or more, thus acquiring colour. Different grape varieties produce differing shades, from the clear bright cherry red of Gamay in a Beaujolais, through to the inky deep purple red of a Malbec.
With Rosé wines, the very same juice, when left with the skins for 8-12 hours only, will produce a wine with a delicate salmon pink shade. Many of the varietal qualities will still be apparent, but the wine will be that little bit lighter. The majority of Rosé wines produced today are dry to medium dry, and a far cry from some of the sickly sweet examples that were around 15 years ago. If you’ve been put off buying Rosé wines because of the awful ones in the past, you really ought to try some of these newer ones. They are very good indeed.