free run juice

pink champagne on ice

Hotel California might not have had wine since 1969, but they have rosé Champagne. These sparkling pinks from the Champagne region get their color from the skins of the red grapes, which in Champagnes are Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. They also usually cost more than their non-rosé counterparts (starting around $50/60 and heading up to $110 – but Champagne prices vary so much due to promotions).

That said, the rosy hue always seems to add an extra kick to your Valentine’s celebration. They often have more red fruit and less brioche notes found in non-rosé ones, though of course they vary from producer to producer. Here are a few of my favorites, and yours might be determined by the amount of red grapes versus Chardonnay in the blend. 

  • Alfred Gratien: Light and elegant raspberry and strawberry. The addition of still Pinot Noir ups the red fruit flavors. 42% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay, and 22% Pinot Meunier 
  • Lanson: More of a copper hue with rose and red berry notes balanced by a hint of savory herbs. 53% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier
  • Leclerc: Biodynamic since 1988, which gives a different energy to wines. With 95% Chardonnay, this just barely makes it as a rosé and has a paler color. 
  • Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé is all Pinot Noir, with fantastic silky raspberry and floral notes. 
  • Delamotte: Super elegant bubbles with delicate florals and raspberry notes. 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.

For a cheaper option (around $35), I recently had the the Rouanne Brut Nature Millesime 2020 from the southern Rhône Valley. The blend is 55% Mourvèdre, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, 10% Marselan, 5% Grenache so totally different from Champagne, but I loved its slatey, cherry notes. 

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