EU drops rosé labeling proposal

Concerns that European wines labeled "rosé" might be mere blends of red and white have been laid to rest.

EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel announced Monday she was withdrawing the proposed new rule. It had been strongly opposed by winemakers from Spain, France and Italy. Their contention was that mixing red and white wines would turn winemaking into an industry rather than a skill and put thousands of people out of work.

Traditional, quality rosé generally is made from dark-skinned grapes that otherwise would be used for white wine production. The clear juice from crushed grapes is allowed to remain in contact with the grape skins and seeds for a certain amount of time, during which it acquires the pale pink rosé hue before fermentation.

European Union labeling rules apply only to wines produced in EU-member countries. They have no effect on other countries' winemakers, some of which make what they call rosé by the blending method.

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