New Year’s Eve party planning is in high gear, and I’ll make my contribution with a selection of rosé Champagnes I tasted two weeks ago at the annual Wine Media Guild Champagne luncheon.
According to the Champagne Bureau, Americans are the largest consumers of rose Champagne. We love the colors, which range from onion skin to copper to raw salmon. We love the aromas of orange peel, maraschino cherries, flowers and red fruit. And we love the flavors of raspberries, strawberries, cherries and red grapefruit. But most of all, we love the party mood rosé Champagne creates.
I want to start the party with the rosé Champagne that creates smiles the second you display the bottle:Perrier-Jouët’s Belle Époque. Its design of anemones laced to gold branches by Emile Galle from the Art Nouveau period presents grace and style unmatched by any other Champagne bottle.
The delicate rose petal color highlights the design, and the complex red fruit aromas and flavors are released by weightless bubbles. Retailers offer the 2002 and 2004 vintage; I prefer the majestic 2002 with its additional two years of development. And if you are bringing it as gift, look for the jewel-box package with matching flute glasses.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque rosé Champagne retails for about $250.
Laurent-Perrier is one of my favorite Champagnes. Whether it’s brut or rosé, the wines are full-bodied, with elegant texture and rich flavors. The nonvintage Laurent-Perrier rosé; has a bounty of ripe red fruit aroma and flavor. This delicious rosé Champagne was a perfect partner to my roasted salmon main course. You could serve it with spicy Asian, Indian and Latin foods, too.
Laurent-Perrier rosé nonvintage is about $70.
Taittinger is what I call a royal Champagne house. From its top cuvée, Comtes de Champagne, to its nonvintage brut and rosé, every wine has breeding and refinement.
The nonvintage Cuvée Prestige rosé; has an orange-red sheen and pronounced raspberry-strawberry aromas and flavors. Its mouth-filling fruit carries a crisp acidity giving the wine balance and a strikingly long finish. Pour the nonvintage Taittinger Cuvée Prestige rosé when guests arrive and again with a fruit dessert. They will thank you coming and going.
Taittinger Cuvée Prestige rosé nonvintage retails for approximately $55.
If you like your Champagne as full-bodied as an NFL player and as full-flavored as gelato, buy Henriot Champagne. I adore its style.
The nonvintage Henriot rosé; is fashionably pink, fabulously flavorful, and fastidiously balanced. Its blend of red fruits and citrus aromas and flavors are delivered with richness, depth and concentration. Henriot Champagnes command your attention; the nonvintage rosé demands shrimp as an hors d’oeuves, ribs as an appetizer, and rhubarb for dessert. Or you can do as I do: enjoy it throughout dinner.
The nonvintage Henriot Champagne rosé retails for about $65.
At this time of year, it pays to shop around as retailers often discount Champagne as a way to bring wine buyers to their store.