Rosé may compose a tiny segment of the overall wine market, but it’s been the fastest growing category during the recent boom in Champagne sales. Generally created by adding pinot noir (about 15 percent) to the divine bubbly, pink Champagne carries an aura of luxury, festivity and exclusivity—the complicated production means a premium price. These three picks more than justify the upcharge and stand out as exemplars of the style.
Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé
The mighty Veuve’s medium orange- and pink-colored Champagne is a stronger, more intense rosé with an unusually high percentage of reserve wines in the blend. Piercingly dry and a bit smoky, with undertones of strawberry, sea salt and chalky flavors, it is savory and lingers on the palate. A layered, beautifully structured, crisp Champagne, it will work wonders with meaty, fleshier fish preparations, such as roasted monkfish, or even lobster. Its tart fruit also matches nicely with cured meats.
$70, The Urban Grape
Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé
Salmon colored with a touch of orange, this is a superb wine bottled in an antique bottle, a rosé with a subtle creamy melange of berries, orange marmalade and earthy flavors. Toasty, herb-scented and fragrant with plum and red currants, it has a bone-dry core of acidity that balances the lush fruit. This wine is strong enough to complement a dish like roast duck with a cherry glaze, and it would also be delightful after dinner with mild cheeses and unsweetened berries.
$96, BRIX Wine Shop
Lanson Brut Rosé
A little-known Champagne house that is on the upswing in quality, Lanson makes a pale, light-colored rosé with fragrant floral scents and a whiff of baked cherry pie. Crisp and subtle, with tart red fruit, this is a Champagne of finesse and minerality. Think delicate, sparkling pinot noir with an unmistakable goût de
terroir. Beautifully balanced between the red fruit, citrus and sourdough bread notes, it’s an ideal match for subtly flavored, gently textured fish preparations, such as Dover sole.
$60, Bauer Wine & Spirits