Rosé champagne symbolizes special occasions, luxury, summer weather, freshness, and, of course, fine dining and pleasure. The complex bubbles of today’s assemblages are the result of a flourishing legacy dating back to the 18th century. A short history is in order.
Ruinart, the first champagne house, bottled and sold rosé champagne back in 1764, recorded in its ledgers as “OEil de Perdrix” (eye of the partridge), a term used to describe a pale pink with hints of copper. Several decades later in 1801, the legendary Maison Moët & Chandon discovered that none other than Napoléon Bonaparte and Joséphine had ordered one hundred bottles of rosé champagne from Jean-Rémy Moët. In 1818, Madam Ponsardin, head of the Maison Veuve Clicquot, invented the “rosé d’assemblage,” or blended rosé, by adding a red wine from Bouzy to a white wine. This type of wine became more popular in the late 20th century. The modern method for creating high-quality rosé is to combine white and red wines, which is what Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, and Moët & Chandon all do.
THREE EXCEPTIONAL ROSÉ CHAMPAGNES
Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial Champagne is a popular wine that is refined and accessible. Reflecting the diversity of the three varietals that compose it—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay—Rosé Impérial contains all the richness of the Champagne region. The bouquet of red summer berries like strawberries, raspberries, and gooseberries blends perfectly with floral notes of rose and a hint of pepper. The colour is vibrant pink and the palate intense, lively, fleshy, and juicy.
Veuve Clicquot Rosé, from the world’s most iconic brand of champagne, is based on the same unique blend traditionally used for Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne. However, its dominant varietal is Pinot Noir. The wine is bottled and cellaraged for three years. Aromas of very ripe wild strawberries mix with biscuity notes of dry fruit. With its coppery-orange colour, the wine has a full-bodied, structured, vinous palate with a fresh character.
Finally, Ruinart Brut Rosé differs from the previous two, notably in its composition. Unlike the Veuve Clicquot Rosé, the Ruinart is based on the brand’s emblematic Chardonnay, combined with Pinot Noir vinified as a red wine. The aromatic profile is subtle, with notes of tropical fruits and small berries like raspberries, cherries, and wild strawberries. The pomegranate colour has hints of orange, while the silky, fleshy palate has a distinct attack, expressed by aromas of pomegranate, guava, lychee, pink grapefruit, and mint.
LA VIE EN « ROSÉ »
Experts from all the champagne houses agree that it is completely untrue to say that all rosés are sweet and can only be served as an aperitif. In fact, a rosé champagne can very easily be part of wine pairings.
In the heart of summer, champagne flutes filled with rosé bubbles are the ideal accompaniment to raw or marinated fish, Cajun shrimp, grilled chicken, beef carpaccio, Andalusian gazpacho, or even a delicious strawberry shortcake. Cheers!