May and June are filled with occasions calling for sparkling wines, and one of the best values is Australia’s Jacob’s Creek non-vintage rose.
After December’s holiday parties and New Year’s Eve toasts, the next season for champagne and sparkling wines begins with Mother’s Day and continues through the weddings, anniversaries and graduations culminating in late June.
Champagne can be pricey — and for a group function, a budget breaker — but Jacob’s Creek non-vintage rose offers the best of both worlds: a champagne-styled wine at an affordable price.
It is an Australian sparkling wine and not champagne because the latter wine must come from Champagne, a French region 90 miles northeast of Paris. It is champagne-styled because the critical second fermentation, which creates the bubbles, takes place in the bottle, not in a tank. This is the method that has been used in Champagne for centuries.
The Jacob’s Creek rose, an eye-appealing light pink, is a blend of 75 percent chardonnay and 25 percent pinot noir, the two most important grapes used in making champagne. Australia’s warm weather vineyards yielded ripe pinot noir fruit, giving this rose a distinct cherry aroma and flavor. The chardonnay contributes body and a full, rich texture on the palate. The elegant finish is a rarity for a sparkling wine at this affordable price.
As a lover of champagne, I prefer a drier finish, but it is exactly the off-dry character of the Jacob’s Creek rose that will make it appealing to a group.
Watching the wine’s refined bubbles rise upward, the salmon color of the rose reflecting in the light and enjoying the chilled flavors on a warm spring or early summer day will help make a joyous moment memorable.
Jacob’s Creek non-vintage rose retails for approximately $13.