If you know me at all, you knew I was going to start off the year with a column on sparkling wine. But this year needs more than a few bubbles to give us all the liquid courage we need to dive headlong into the sea of troubles the New Year presents. This year, everything’s coming up Rose!Charles Heidsieck1999 Brut RoseIt seems funny to call a wine named “Charles” pretty, but this is one foxy Chuck! Flavors are clean and acidity fresh, but this is no one-note. A decidedly quirky wine, minerality mingles with raspberries and citrus and an indefinable something gamey sneaks in at the back.CristalinoNV Brut RoseThis Cava is your recession Rose. At less than $8/bottle, it is one of the best buys on the shelves. What it lacks in refinement it makes up for in body, freshness and spirit.Champagne BollingerNV Brut RoseA new number for Champagne Bollinger, the winery’s first stab at a NV Rose and boy, did they get it right on the first try. A symphony in the bottle, strawberries tease the tip of the tongue, then a gaminess surprises the mid palate. The finish? Try freshly grated cinnamon and vanilla scraped from the pod.Frank FamilyNV Blanc de NoirA very nice wine for the price – $35, Frank Family’s pink is unmistakably America. The strawberries, toasted nuts and buttered popcorn on the nose are echoed in the flavors, along with bright, citrus acidity and a mouthfeel as light and creamy as raspberry mousse.LansonNoble Cuvee Brut RoseA lovely, delicate and light number for a Rose, Lanson’s Noble Cuvee offers beautiful balance and a delightfully creamy texture. A bouquet of wildflowers hints at the wine’s delicacy and flavors of tart and sweet berries deliver freshness and elegance.Lucien AlbrechtCremant d’Alsace Brut RoseThis Cremant delivers a big bang with bold berry aromas and flavors, Barbie-worthy pink hue and a lingering finish with just a touch of sweetness. It is just the sort of bubbly –and at absolutely the right price – to serve at a casual cocktail affair or elegant family dinner.Perrier Jouet2002 Fleur de Champagne RoseI’m a sucker for texture and this PJ gives me just what I want. The wine has the complexity and depth you would expect of a prestige cuvee, but somehow the impression in the mouth is one of lightness with bubbles dancing across the tongue and the wine following after as silky as cream.
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