With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I can’t help but think pink. Whether you’re toasting your sweetie or your singlehood, a bottle of Champagne is always appropriate. And pink Champagne – aka Rosé Champagne or sparkling wine – is even better.
In the world of bubbly, Rosé refers to Champagne or sparkling wine whose pink tint, ranging from deep rosy pink to salmon colored, comes from the addition of a small portion of red wine to the cuvée (the blend) before second fermentation or by letting the wine come in contact with the Pinot Noir skins. For Rosé Champagne, usually only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are used (remember, Champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France; everything else is sparkling wine). And this is dry Champagne, not sweet – don’t be fooled by the rosy glow. And the flavor of pink bubbly is more complex, making it a perfect food pairing (just stick to savory stuff, especially anything salty or fried).
Rosé Champagne costs a bit more and not every house produces one, so it’s a good one to bring out on a special night. If you’re in the mood to splurge look for Rosé from Billecart-Salmon, Gosset, or Krug. For budget Rosé try a sparkling wine. I like Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé from the Alsace region of France, Schramsberg Brut Rosé Mirabelle from Napa, and J Vineyards Brut Rosé from Sonoma, California. (For a super budget bottle look for Cristalino Brut Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain.)
Chill down that bottle to around 45 degrees F, grab some Champagne glasses, raise a toast, and enjoy!