Quick Sips — 30 November 2015
The days of wine & rosé champagnes

By Bob Hosmon

For those who profess they don’t like wine with bubbles (and you know who you are), may I suggest a rosé champagne this season? They’re my favorites and more food-friendly than their white counterparts. Try any of these pink bubblies with fried foods, Spanish ham and even hamburgers — yes, hamburgers — and you’ll see what I mean:

At the top of the list of premium French champagnes are Dom Pérignon Grand Vintage Rosé from the House of Moët & Chandon ($200+) and Comtes de Champagne Rosé from Taittinger ($200+). You can taste — and savor — the subtle flavors of pinot noir in every sip. Yes, these are pricey bubblies, but who said the best things in life are free?

If you’d like the option of a less-expensive, well-made rosé, try the Moët & Chandon Rosé  Impérial ($75+) and the Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve ($80+). Both wines deliver soft red-berry flavors, and both wines can be enjoyed as an aperitif or served with an assortment of party food.

If I can’t interest you in something pink, how about something in a pale blue? Blanc de Bleu ($17) is produced in California from chardonnay grapes with just a touch of blueberry extract. The end result is a sparkling wine with a clear-sky color. I suggest enjoying this wine with sushi — you’ll be glad you did.

Finally, for something really different, consider the Biltmore Estate Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs Brut ($30). It’s a sparkling wine made with grapes grown in North Carolina (yes, there are vineyards there) that pairs nicely with oysters Rockefeller, scallops, shrimp and Dungeness crab.


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