Until recently, it was rare to find sparkling wines with majestic pink hues outside of Champagne, the bubbly capital of France. But thanks to the growing interest in Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the two main red grapes used to add layers of flavor and color to these wines, the fascination for the color pink has spread around the globe.
Most of these marvelous new wines are made using the classic méthode champenoise technique, which helps convert the base wine into a sparkler. When making the base wine, a portion of the Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes used in the blend are fermented separately on the skins to add depth and subtle color to this unique sparkling wine.
A tasty example of this technique is the Schramsberg 2012 Brut Rosé, $44, a bright and beautiful wine made with Pinot Noir grapes grown in Carneros, Anderson Valley, and other premium locations in Northern California. To add more complexity, a smaller portion of Chardonnay grapes is also used to give the wine more spice, structure and length on the palate. After the blend is made, the wine is aged in the bottle for about two years.
Once finished, the end result is an elegant bubbly that is creamy and lush with lovely aromas and complex flavors of fresh raspberry, wild strawberry, white peach, orange blossom, ruby grapefruit and toasted brioche, a burst of vibrant acidity, and a elegant finish. Along with tasting great by itself; this versatile wine pairs great with gourmet salads, fine cheeses, salmon, prawns, sushi, roasted chicken, and a wide variety of barbecued meats.
To find out more about the beauty of aging Schramsberg Sparkling Wines, visit www.schramsberg.com.
Wine & Film Pairing: Schramsberg Brut Rosé with La Vie En Rose
This is a wonderful wine to share with someone special while watching La Vie en Rose (2007). In French, this term means “The Life in Pink,” which loosely translates to mean “life through rose-tinted glasses” in English. In a dynamic performance that won her an Oscar, Marion Cottillard plays the legendary French singer Edith Piaf. This biopic journey follows Piaf’s life as a young girl singing on the street corners of Paris, to her emergence as a star at center stage. And despite the ups and downs of her life, it is not hard to tell that the legendary singer is a true believer in love.
Towards the end of the film, we see Piaf performing one of her best songs, “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rein.” In English, the title of the song means “No, I regret nothing” or “No regrets.” After enjoying this powerful film and a bottle of the delicious Schramsberg Brut Rosé, odds are you’ll feel the same way!
Schramsberg at Flavor Napa Valley, March 16-20
To extend your Valentine’s Day delights, taste more sophisticated bubbles made by Schramsberg and other Napa Valley producers at Flavor Napa Valley, March 16-20. In addition to being on a panel with me on Saturday March 19th to talk about the magnificent J. Davies Cabernet Sauvignon made with world-class fruit grown on the historic estate property between Calistoga and St. Helena; Schramsberg proprietor Hugh Davies will also be part of a special seminar focused on high-end sparkling wines prior to the splendid Brunch at Meritage Resort & Spa on Sunday, March 20th. See below for more details and to view the complete calendar of events, visit www.flavornapavalley.com. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, March 19, 3pm-4:30pm: High Elevation Wines Pt.2—Westside
Explore flavorful selections of wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and other special varieties used to create limited release wines and proprietary blends from hidden sites on the Mayacamas Range overlooking Napa Valley, at the Rudd Center, Culinary Institute of America Greystone, St. Helena.
Hugh Davies, J. Davies/Schramsberg (Diamond Mountain); Mariano Navarro, Mt. Brave & Lokoya Wines (Mt. Veeder); Christopher Howell, Cain Vineyards & Winery (Spring Mountain); Stuart Smith, Smith-Madrone Winery (Spring Mountain); Jay Turnipseed, Mount Veeder Winery (Mt. Veeder). Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Wine Director of Flavor Napa Valley SawyerSomm.com.
Sunday, March 20, 9:30am – 11am: Bubbly Sensation: Exploring the Top Sparkling Wines of Napa Valley
Start your Sunday off in style by tasting through the top sparkling wines of Napa Valley! Find out where the grapes are grown and how the winemakers create levels of flavor and complexity that make their sparkling gems so special. Bubbles and knowledge in every sip! Participating Wineries: Schramsberg, Domaine Carneros, Domaine Chandon, Mumm Napa.
Sunday, March 20, 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM: Brunch Party – Meet Your Maker: The Butcher, The Baker, and the Sparkling Winemaker
Cap off the weekend with an exclusive brunch party hosted by The Meritage Resort and Spa. Engage with the ‘makers’ and learn how to cure bacon with artisan meat purveyors, bake with local pastry chefs, build a benedict with Meritage chefs, and more — all while sipping local sparkling wines and imbibing from roving bloody mary carts!
Participating Wineries: Schramsberg, Domaine Carneros, Domaine Chandon, Mumm Napa. Participating Artisans: Cate & Co., Cococlectic, Mr. Espresso, Napastak, Napa General Store, Napa Valley Cookie Co., Olive and Poppy, Platanito Pupusas. Secure your tickets!