As I always do this time of year with this column, I continue campaigning for dry rose wines. What started as a fantasy — to have every wine drinker in the world declare his adoration for rose — seems to be turning into reality. Each time a reader tells me about the joy of discovering rose, it brings me joy and confirms my quest is paying off. So with your palate already savoring the rose revival, it’s time to give credit to the sparkling fizzy one, too.
Most Champagne and sparkling wines are usually only sought as celebration drinks, rarely as a fun, refreshing option for everyday. And sparkling rose is even more seldom an option beyond a Valentine’s Day romance, often ignored the rest of the year.
With sparkling rose, it’s not just the color that stands out in an ocean of ordinary white fizzy wines. These wines not only look different but have an exceptionally unique smell and taste. They are made using the same method as most Champagne and sparkling wines but with different grapes, which alters the flavor profile. These wines technically can be made with any red grape ranging from the powerful shiraz to the delicate pinot noir. As with any rose, in addition to the flavor profile, the winemaker is also looking for a specific hue. The short time spent in contact with the skins of red grapes determines the color.
The flavor depends on the grapes. They are usually the refreshing flavors of red berry fruits — cherry, strawberry, red currant and dominated by raspberry. Adding to the complexity of sparkling rose wines you can even find citrus, floral or even orange zest in the depth of these wines.
One of my favorite things about sparkling rose is that just as with still rose, it truly fits every food pairing and social occasion. Not only is it a light-bodied wine with a refreshing summer cool down that can be enjoyed on its own, it can endure a diverse food lineup. These foods can range from summer salads, grilled meat and vegetables to the spice and sweetness of barbecue sauces.
So, look out moscato and prosecco … the sparkling roses revival is underway.
- NV Segura Viudas Brut Rose, Spain (about $10 retail)
- NV Chandon Sparkling Rose, California (about $25 retail)