What is Rosé Champagne?
Rose Champagne, properly spelled rosé with accents, is a pink Champagne, which has a slightly red color. Whereas most regular Champagne and other sparkling wines are white, these wines are made with some color from red grapes which gives them a rosé color which can vary from just a light blush to salmon to quite dark red. Rosé sparkling wines are made in several regions that produce sparkling wines, not just Champagne.
Champagne, of course, is the name for the famous and elegant sparkling wine produced in the French region of the same name. To learn more about Champagne and sparkling wine in general, visit our Champagne and Sparkling Wine pages.
How Are They Made?
Rosé Champagne are generally made in the same way as normal sparkling wines which is described in detail on our Sparkling Wine
page. However, to get that beautiful Rosé color, an extra step is needed. In general, there are two basic ways that this is accomplished:
- Blending: Many rose Champagnes are made by blending in a red still wine with a basic white Champagne. In other words, the producers ferment some red grapes separately to make a basic red wine and this is later blended in with the white Champagne. This is the most common method.
- Rosé de Saignée: Some producers make a rosé by simply allowing the wine to have more contact with the red grape skins than normally is allowed for Champagne. Normally, Champagne, which can include two red grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is made by pressing the juice from the grapes early so that the juice cannot pick up red pigment from the red grape skins. This leaves a white juice which can be fermented into white wine. However, in a Rosé de Saignée the juice is allowed to sit for a longer period in contact with the red grape skins, picking up some of the red pigment. The subsequent sparkling wine will have this light red color.
What Do They Taste Like and
What Foods Do You Eat with Them?
Rosé Champagne can vary quite a bit depending on the grapes used, the method of production and the house style. However, in general, Rosés tend to have a bit more red fruit aroma and flavor than regular Champagne, as you might expect. Fresh aromas of strawberries or raspberries often accompany the other typical aromas. In flavor and mouthfeel they also tend to be a bit richer, bigger and rounder.
Rose Champagne can accompany all sorts of food, as can blanc Champagne. Great with spicy Indian food, these are actually pretty versatile at table. However, as everyone knows, much Champagne is enjoyed simply for its celebratory feeling. Rosé Champagne has an added "sexiness" or romance to it that makes it a favorite for romantic dinners or Valentine's Day celebrations. But really, these are just excuses...any day can be made better with a delicious glass of Champagne!
For more information and tips about pairing specific wines with food, be sure to check out our Food and Wine Pairing section!
If you want tips on how to open and serve Champagne, check out our How to Open Champagne page. Also, for even more fun, learn about opening Champagne with a Champagne Saber!
Done with the Rose Champagne page?
Return to the Types of Wine page.