Until recently, it was rare to find sparkling wines with majestic pink hues outside of France's Champagne region. But thanks to the growing interest in Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the two main red grapes used to add layers of flavor and color to these wines, fascination with the color pink has spread around the globe.
Most of these marvelous new wines are made using the classic méthode champenoise technique, which helps convert the base wine into a sparkler. When making the base wine, a portion of the Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes used in the blend are fermented separately on the skins to add depth and subtle color to this unique sparkling wine.
A tasty example of this technique is the Schramsberg 2005 Brut Rosé ($40*), a bright and beautiful wine made with Pinot Noir grapes grown in Carneros, Anderson Valley, and other premium locations in Northern California. To add more complexity, a smaller portion of Chardonnay grapes is also used to give the wine more spice, structure and length on the palate. After the blend is made, the wine is aged in the bottle for about two years.
Once finished, the end result is an elegant, lush and richly textured bubbly. It sports lovely aromas and complex flavors of fresh strawberry, wild berries, ruby grapefruit and toasty notes on the finish. Along with tasting great by itself, this versatile wine pairs great with gourmet salads, fine cheeses, salmon, prawns, sushi, roasted chicken and a wide variety of barbequed meats.
This is also a wonderful wine to share with someone special when watching La Vie en Rose, the biopic of legendary French singer Edith Piaf, played here by Marion Cotillard in her Oscar-winning role.
Towards the end of the film, we see Piaf performing one of her best songs, "Non, je ne regrette rein," which translates to "no, I regret nothing" or "no regrets." After enjoying this powerful film and a bottle of the delicious Schramsberg Brut Rosé, odds are you'll feel the same way.
*Prices quoted in U.S. dollars