Rose champagne is an occasional delight and in a couple of weeks, we’ll certainly see an uptick in requests. There is a standing discussion on which are the best and the same three are always mentioned – one of Champagne’s oldest houses Ruinart, Laurent Perrier (LP) and Billecart-Salmon. Not everyone may agree, but if you had a glass of any of these, your whole being would smile. Each one brings something distinct and more desirable than the other. Whether it’s LP’s electricity, Ruinart’s fruit burst or Salmon’s crème, they all boast a $70 plus price. Sea Grape carries Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé at $97 and we sell it all year round. Unfortunately, not everyone has a very special wallet to go along with their very special lover on Valentine’s or any other day. So, I put together at little list for pink bubbles that won’t heartbreak your bank.
Castillo Perelada has been producing the most affordable Brut Rosado in Cava for almost a century. The great Salvador Dali drank it as his daily wine. Every release shows slight variation in grape selection and concentration. The current release is predominantly Trepat with 20% of Monastrell and Pinot Noir. Its deep raspberry color alludes to a fuller sweet style but it actually drinks light and dry, showing red cherry and strawberries held together with bright acidity and overflowing with bubbles. The wine is created using a traditional method so it does age on the lees for a year before disgorgement. At $15, I could drink this every weekend for the rest of my life without regret.
Our Zanasi Lambrusco Di Sorbara Rose Secco is another under $20 treasure. Lambrusco in general has become more popular in recent years due to its attractive price point and improved quality. Yet when I mention a rose version there’s a brief moment of apprehensive disbelief immediately followed by genuine interest. Most rose champagne and rose sparkling wines are made with red grapes so it’s only fitting Lambrusco producers manipulate skin contact with their juice too. Its color is similar to ruby red grapefruit with a medium perla. Blood orange and strawberry notes on the nose with fresh cherry-watermelon on the kisser that begins tart then softens for a textured mid-palate and finishes in balance. At $16, this Italiano is a perfect match for branzino.
My affinity for the Loire Valley is no secret and we are thrilled to introduce Domaine de la Bergerie to the New York market. Martine’s Wines imports two of their Cremants and we fell head over heels for the Rose. The Preambule is vinified by the ancient “méthode ancestrale,”which differs from the champenoise method because they do not add a sugar solution known as dosage following disgorgement. This results in a drier wine that is naturally balanced. A blend of an indigenous varietal Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is pale and vivacious, with a delicate strawberry nose and hints of dried herbs. As the style suggests, the bubbles are creamy and it ends with a clean mineral aftertaste. If you’re looking for something rare and unique for $23, look no further.
So if you find yourself in need to impress for less on the 14th or simply want to enjoy a nice glass of sparkling berries, seek these out and save up for a Rose Champagne splurge. Salud.