The Romantic Choice
Pink champagne – or Rosé champagne – is often thought of as the most romantic of all drinks. After all, pink being the colour of love, combined with the decadence and celebration of a bottle of the bubbly, makes for a drink that’s popular at weddings and other romantic events.
Perhaps the reason that champagne rosé became so well-known as the ‘drink of love’ was thanks to the iconic film, An Affair to Remember. Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, the theme of the film is their love of drinking pink champagne, and the classic love story ends with there being no doubt as to what will be drunk at their wedding reception.
But what’s the difference between pink champagne and regular white champagne?
Well, one thing it isn’t is a regular champagne that’s just had colouring added. In fact, all champagne produced has the ability to be pink in colour because some of the grapes used in the production process are black in colour – such as the Pinot Noir grape. The reason most champagne is not pink is because the black skins are removed before fermentation.
There are two different methods that can be used to create pink champagne. These are:
- Blended Pink Champagne – (Rosé d’assembelage)
- Macerated Pink Champagne – (Rosé de saignée)
Blended Pink Champagne
This is currently the most common method used to create champagne of the pink or rosé champagne variety. It’s done during the first fermentation (before the fermentation in the bottle) and here the white champagne wine is blended with between 5 – 20 per cent of red champagne wine. This allows producers to very accurately produce pink champagne of the same hue year after year, giving a nice uniformity of colour.
Macerated Pink Champagne
This alternative method allows the black skins of the grapes to be in contact with the wine for a few hours at the beginning of the first fermentation process. Depending on the intensity of the colour required, the longer they remain the more intense the pink colour. Pink champagne created in this manner tends to have more depth of colour than that of the blended variety. However, different vintages can vary quite widely, although this has no effect at all on the quality. These pink champagnes also tend to have a richer taste than that of the blended champagnes.
Brut or Sweet?
Pink or rosé champagne often tends to have a very fruity taste and aroma. However, as with all champagnes the level of dryness – or brut – depends on the amount of sugar added during the creation process. Whether or not it is a brut champagne depends completely on the maker and the percentage of sugar in the mix. Of course, the same as with regular champagne, the sweetness level is legally required to be declared on the label that adorns the bottle. So you can find brut rosé pink champagne, which will have less than 12 grams of sugar per litre, as well as others of varying levels of sweetness.
One thing’s for sure. Pink champagne has, and always will carry the message of love and romance. And, we’re sure you’ll agree, long live plenty of pink champagne moments…
About Champagne ExpertWe are four people working on this blog: Jacki (England), LeChamp' (France) and Sophie & Marc (Germany)... and we love Champagne and all sparklers out there. We just started this website, we still learn, we will drink a lot of Champagne.
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> July 25th: Charles Lafitte 1834 Blanc de Blancs 12%. Nice nose, but far too sweet. The bubbles are great. 5.5/10
> July 19th: Billecart Salmon Brut. Rather balanced, not enough bubbles for my taste, a good pre-dinner Champagne, a bit too flat 6.5/10
> July 14th: Henri Giraud Cuvée Argonne 2002. Gentle fine bubbles: 9/10
> June 29th: Val de Cune Prosecco Treviso Brut. Very nice: 8/10
> June 25th: Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Brut Réserve: No bubbles, sour, flat.. 4/10
> June 20th: Champagne Beauvalet Brut Cote Des Bar Urville: 7/10
> June 18th: Piper Heidsieck Standard: very nice Champagne, that's a 8/10
> June 16th: Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut (Cava) .. stuff is too sweet 4.5/10
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