In addition to roses, another great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is with a rosé, specifically a sparkling rosé.
By Lou Campoli
Roses are always a beautiful way to show how much you care. Every color denotes a different meaning: red (romantic love and beauty), white (innocence and reverence), orange (desire and enthusiasm), pink (admiration and appreciation), and yellow (joy and friendship), so make your selection with care.
In addition to roses, another great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is with a rosé, specifically a sparkling rosé. One of the best, as well as best-known, producers of both sparkling wine and Champagne is Louis Roederer.
What is now the Roederer Champagne house was founded in Reims, France, in 1776 as Dubois Père & Fils. In 1833, Louis Roederer inherited it and renamed it. Today, it is owned and run by his descendants, the Rouzaud family, and is one of the most outstanding of all Champagne houses, producing the renowned Cristal.
Louis Roederer Champagne expanded its interests to the United States, founding Roederer Estate in 1982 in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley. Roederer Estate has become one of the best of America’s sparkling wines, and perhaps its greatest sparkling wine value.
We recommend two of Roederer Estate’s fabulous rosé sparkling wines from California:
Brut Rosé Multi-Vintage ($35) is a blend of 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. The pinot skins are removed and not allowed into the fermenting wine, thereby producing a clear liquid. To obtain its salmon color, a small amount of pinot noir red wine is added to the blend. This sparkler is dry, vibrant and fresh, with bright cherry and red berry flavors.
L’Ermitage Brut Rosé ($79) is a blend of 51% chardonnay and 49% pinot noir. Mouthfilling and creamy, this premium wine exhibits wonderful notes of bread crust, baked apples, and hazelnuts.
If you really want to really splurge, try one of Louis Roederer’s tremendous and expensive rosé Champagnes from France.
Brut Rosé Vintage ($184) is a blend of 66% pinot noir and 34% chardonnay. To obtain its salmon color, the pinot noir skins are allowed to be in contact with the juice for a short period of time. This scrumptious, rich wine shows ripe red berry flavors that are followed by floral and mineral nuances.
Cristal Brut Rosé ($525-650) is one of the most prestigious, and most expensive, rosé Champagnes in the world. It is a blend of 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. Intense flavors of red fruits, citrus, dried fruits, fresh almonds, baked apples, and caramel emanate from the glass. Great balance of concentration and finesse complete this extraordinary Champagne. True love indeed.
If you don’t want to go the rosé route, stick with their excellent Champagne and sparkling wines: Roederer Estate Brut ($22), which may be the best sparkling wine value in the United States, and Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Brut ($45).
Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne ($52), Brut Vintage Champagne ($90), and Cristal Brut Champagne ($250-300) are fabulous choices.