Ok. We all agree that we are in the swing of the festive season and that Sparkling wine is perfect for the occasion, but I now could not imagine a Christmas without popping something that is in the pinkish red spectrum of colour.
Rose sparkling wine is usually made in the same manner as it’s paler cousin, with the same grape varietals as well, but can be made either be leaving the base wine in contact with the red / black coloured grapes for up to a week (known as saignée) or by mixing some red wine into the base blend before the wine goes through it’s second alcoholic fermentation. Often the base wine can have more Pinot Noir in the blend giving the wine extra weight and dimension. The result either way is a lovely refreshing elegant fizz that makes a statement in the glass and on the tongue. Billecart Salmon Brut Rose is a fine example of a saignée Champagne with a classy bottle and Moet Imperial Rose is another classic alternative. Also keep an eye out for the home grown Domaine Chandon NV rose & Domaine Chandon 2005 Rose or the Di Giorgio Sparkling Pinot Noir from the Coonawarra.
While the Burgundians have a long history with making a red sparkling wine, Australians produce sparkling red from the nations favourite grape, Shiraz plus blended with other favourites including Durif for extra richness such as the Morris Sparkling Shiraz Durif. Some, like Majella Sparkling Shiraz 2005 even are topped off with fortified wine after disgorgement. Petersen’s 2005 Sparkling Malbec is a very rich and fruity fizz redolent of velvet berries. If you are after that extra special treat for Christmas to share with someone special (I can only bring myself to share it with one other), try the Joseph Sparkling NV Red with it’s intricate layers and length.
The US does also produce some red fizz but it is harder to find as it is even less mainstream than in Australia and perhaps viewed with some suspicion. Harvest Moon Sparkling Zinfandel and Geyser Peak Sparkling Shiraz are wines that are made in the style of Australian sparkling reds. When buying sparkling rose wines made in the USA, be sure to check whether these are in the sweeter style such as Beringer Sparkling White Zinfandel.
Please note: Some of these wines have not been tasted by the winemuse team and have been used as an example rather than a recommendation. Wines that have been tasted will be reviewed on this site or Friday Drinks Club
Suggested reading: http://www.rumball.com.au/history.htm