Sparkling Reds, Rosé

 
Synonyms: Sparkling Reds, Rosé

Wine Name: Rosé Champagne, Sparkling Rosé, Blush Sparkling, Blush Prosecco, Cava Rosé, Sparkling Rosé Moscato, Brachetto d’ Acqui, Lambrusco, Sparkling Rosé Shiraz/Syrah, Sparkling Rosé Malbec

Background: Sparkling red and rosé wines as a group have quite a range of styles. They range from very dry rosé Champagnes such as a Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé, to light red wines with residual sweetness such as a Brachetto d’ Acqui or Lambrusco, to a full-bodied sparkling red wine such as a sparkling Shiraz. Blush wines of sparkling Moscato, Rieslings and almost any other popular grape are made from dry to off dry and sweet versions.

Basically the addition of red wine to add color and flavor or the fermentation of red grapes leaving the skins in the must add tannins to the taste of the sparkling wine. These tannins add a little astringency to the wine which acts as a palate cleanser while at the same time will allow the wine to pair better with fat in red meats (beef, lamb, game) and salty foods. When the wine is finished with residual sugar either to off dry, semi-sweet or sweet levels, better pairings with spicy hot foods and sweet foods are possible.

Classic Brands and Sources: Numerous brands and from most winemaking countries.

Characteristics:

Style #1 –

Body –

Acidity –

Sweetness –

Tannins –

Style #2 –

Body –

Acidity –

Sweetness –

Tannins –


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Sparkling reds and rosés go with foods just as their non-sparkling counterparts do based mostly on the acidity of the wine and food and the weight of the wine and food. If the sparkling wine is made in the traditional Champagne method and spends any degree of time on the yeast lees, the toastiness, bread and yeast flavors contribute a savoriness to the wine that allows it to pair better with less acidic and more savory dishes.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry rosé – Pairs with lamb, beef, veal, pork and salmon dishes with acidic sauces.
Off dry rosé or light red – Pairs with Pacific rim, Mexican and South American cuisine and any lightly spiced dishes.
Semi-sweet red – Matches well with savory dishes either cream, butter or cheese-based as well as tomato dishes or spicy cuisine.
Full-bodied sparkling red – Pairs well with medium to full-bodied savory to medium acid dishes

Cheese Pairings:
Dry rosé – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
Off dry rosé or light red – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
Semi-sweet red – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”
Full-bodied sparkling red – Mild Cheddar, Edam, Glouchester, Manchego, Muenster, Provolone (aged), Parmesan, Pecorino, Roncal, Smoked Gouda


Sparkling White Wines

 
Synonyms: Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, sparkling wine, California sparkling wine, Cava, Champagne, sparkling moscato, sparkling riesling, Cremant, Prosecco, Vinho Verde

Wine Name: Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, Cava, Champagne, sparkling moscato, sparkling riesling, Cremant, Prosecco, Spumante, Francicorta, Vinho Verde

Background: European countries such as France (Champagne, Cremant), Italy (Prosecco), Germany (Sekt), Spain (Cava) have trademarked names for their sparkling wines whereas most of the new world wine producers do not. They just call their wines “Sparkling” and their location such as California, New York, Australia, Chile, Argentina etc. These wines can be made by the traditional Champagne method or several different techniques such as the Charmat or tank method, the transfer method or simply by adding carbon dioxide with machine carbonation. The longer a wine is left on its lees (dead yeast cells) the more toasty and bready the taste becomes and the finer the bubbles appear in the wine.

Classic Brands and Sources: Numerous brands in almost every wine producing country

Characteristics:

Brut Nature

Body – light

Acidity – dry

Sweetness – dry – no added sugar 0-3 g/l

Tannins – low

Extra Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry <6 g/l

Tannins – low

Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry <12 g/l

Tannins – low

Extra Sec/Extra Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – off dry 12-17 g/l

Tannins – low

Sec/Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium to medium (+)

Sweetness – semi-sweet 17-32 g/l

Tannins – low

Semi Sec/Semi Dry

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – semi-sweet 33-50 g/l

Tannins – low

Doux/Sweet

Body – full

Acidity – perceived as low

Sweetness – sweet > 50 g/l

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Often consummed on its own without food. With food, the dryer styles go well with fish, shellfish and lighter meat dishes with acidic sauces. Sweeter versions can go with heavier dishes that have spice or hotness or sweetness.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry styles – light fish, shellfish, chicken, pork with citrus-based sauces
Off dry styles – chicken, pork, veal with spicier sauces, Pacific rim foods, Mexican foods
Semi-sweet, sweet styles – dessert dishes
Rosé dry or off dry styles – beef and lamb dishes and dishes with slight spiciness

Cheese Pairings:

dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”

Prosecco

  (pro-SEKKO)
Synonyms: Glera

Wine Name: Prosecco, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Prosecco di Conegliano, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Cartizze

Background: Prosecco is the name of the grape used to produce Prosecco wine. Most of the wines are made with the second fermentation that produces the carbonation being performed in a pressurized tank rather than in the bottle as Champagnes are. This preserves the fruitiness and crispness of the wine without introducing the toasty, bready flavors. Two main styles are made: the “frizzante” style with 1-2 atmospheres of carbon dioxide pressure and the “Spumante” version with fuller aromas, more body and more carbonation.

The best Proseccos come from the Conegliano and the Valdobbiadene alpine regions north of Venice Italy. The most common ones are either dry or off dry although some sweeter versions exist. The wines have good acidity with a light creamy flavor and hints of peaches and almonds. Prosecco is the main component of a Bellini cocktail (together with some white peach juice) made famous by Harry’s Bar in Venice.

Classic Brands and Sources: Adami, Bellenda, Bernardi, Bisol, Bortolin, Cantine Maschio, Carpenè Malvolti, Mionetto, Col Vetoraz, Le Colture, Nino Franco, Riondo, Angelo Ruggeri, Ruggeri, Tanoré

Characteristics:

Dry

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Off Dry

Body – light

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – off dry

Tannins – low

Semi-Sweet

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:

Often consummed on its own without food. With food, the dryer styles go well with fish, shellfish and lighter meat dishes with acidic sauces. Sweeter versions can go with heavier dishes that have spice or hotness or sweetness.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry styles – light fish, shellfish, chicken, pork with citrus-based sauces
Off dry styles – chicken, pork, veal with spicier sauces, Pacific rim foods, Mexican foods
Semi-sweet, sweet styles – dessert dishes
Rosé dry or off dry styles – beef and lamb dishes and dishes with slight spiciness

Cheese Pairings:

dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”

Champagne

  (sham-PAIN)
Synonyms: Champagne – to be called Champagne, the wine must be from the Champagne region of France

Wine Name: Champagne, Rosé Champagne

Background: France essentially has a trademark on the name “Champagne” which designates only sparkling wine from the approved regions in Champagne France can be called as such. In fact sparkling wines from any other region in France cannot be called Champagne but are called “Cremant”. Champagne must be made by the traditional method in which the second fermentation that produces the bubbles (carbonation) must take place in the bottle rather than a tank or other container as is done for many sparkling wines in other countries. Champagne can be non-vintage (NV) with mixing of wines from several years) or have a year designation (Vintage) for only grapes from that year’s harvest. For a non-vintage Champagne, the wine is left on the dead yeast cells (lies) for at least 12 months. The longer a wine is left on its lees (dead yeast cells) the more toasty and bready the taste becomes and the finer the bubbles appear in the wine. A vintage Champagne must be aged for at least 36 months which usually give them a more toasty, biscuity or bready flavor and finer bubbles.

Classic Brands and Sources: Billecart-Salmon, Bollinger, Charles Heidsieck, Duval-Leroy, Henri Giraud, Gosset, Heidsieck, Henriot, Krug, Laurent-Perrier, Moët & Chandon, Mumm, Perrier-Jouët, Piper-Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Pommery, Louis Roederer, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

Characteristics:

Brut Nature

Body – light

Acidity – dry

Sweetness – dry – no added sugar 0-3 g/l

Tannins – low

Extra Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry 0-6 g/l

Tannins – low

Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry 0-12 g/l

Tannins – low

Extra Sec/Extra Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – off dry 12-17 g/l

Tannins – low

Sec/Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium to medium (+)

Sweetness – semi-sweet 17-35 g/l

Tannins – low

Semi Sec/Semi Dry

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – semi-sweet 33-50 g/l

Tannins – low

Doux/Sweet

Body – full

Acidity – perceived as low

Sweetness – sweet > 50 g/l

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Often consumed on its own without food. With food, the dryer styles go well with fish, shellfish and lighter meat dishes with acidic sauces. Sweeter versions can go with heavier dishes that have spice or hotness or sweetness.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry styles – light fish, shellfish, chicken, pork with citrus-based sauces
Off dry styles – chicken, pork, veal with spicier sauces, Pacific rim foods, Mexican foods
Semi-sweet, sweet – dessert dishes
Rosé dry or off dry styles – beef and lamb dishes and dishes with slight spiciness

Cheese Pairings:
dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”

Cava

  (KAH-vah)
Synonyms: Spanish sparkling wine, champán or champaña, but by agreement with the European Union it should not be called Spanish Champagne

Wine Name: Cava, Cava Rosado, Cordon Negro, Codorniu

Background: Cava is the Spanish word for cave or cellar which is where traditional aging of the wine takes place. Cava has been in production in Spain’s Penedes region near Barcelona using the traditional method for Champagne production since the 1870’s. In order to be labelled Cava the wine must undergo the 2nd fermentation in the bottle, be disgorged and had added dosage to the bottle as is done in the Champagne region of France. The grapes used, however, are the Spanish Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello rather than Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Rosé Cava is made by adding small amounts of Monastrell, Garnacha or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cava is very popular at any celebrations such as baptisms, marriages, banquets, dinners and especially Christmas parties. It has developed a place as a very affordable alternative to Champagne.

Classic Brands and Sources: Codorniu, Freixenet, Segura Viudas, Jaume Serra Cristalino

Characteristics:

Brut Nature

Body – light

Acidity – dry

Sweetness – dry – no added sugar < 3 g/l

Tannins – low

Extra Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry < 6 g/l

Tannins – low

Brut

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry <15 g/l

Tannins – low

Extra Seco/Extra Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – off dry 12-20 g/l

Tannins – low

Seco/Dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium to medium (+)

Sweetness – semi-sweet 17-35 g/l

Tannins – low

Semi Seco/Semi Dry

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – semi-sweet 33-50 g/l

Tannins – low

Dulce/Sweet

Body – full

Acidity – perceived as low

Sweetness – sweet > 50 g/l

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Often consummed on its own without food. With food, the dryer styles go well with fish, shellfish and lighter meat dishes with acidic sauces. Sweeter versions can go with heavier dishes that have spice or hotness or sweetness.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Dry styles – light fish, shellfish, chicken, pork with citrus-based sauces
Off dry styles – chicken, pork, veal with spicier sauces, Pacific rim foods, Mexican foods
Semi-sweet, sweet styles – dessert dishes
Rosé dry or off dry styles – beef and lamb dishes and dishes with slight spiciness

Cheese Pairings:
dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”