I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — rosés are hard for me. Oftentimes, the popular rosés found in grocery stores tend to appeal to the mass market — cloyingly fruit forward to the point of a high perceived sweetness. But the Greek grapes used for this rosé were pretty much made for rosé. Added bonus? Seasoned winemaker Robert Rex is the master mind behind this wine. So while the wine may present a much “too” pink color and an extremely fragrant nose, rest-assured that this is a dry wine that even picky pink drinkers like myself can enjoy. (Double extra bonus points: California residents can find this bottle of Georgos Wines at your local Whole Foods.)
Let’s face it, sparkling wine is meant to be fun. We pop the cork when we’re celebrating something — even if it’s the minor celebration of another work-week gone by. The problem I had until recently is that the more affordable bubblies are the ones that would give me headaches — the very evening I’d sip them. So I convinced myself that spending big bucks on sparkling wine, even if just for a minor weekday victory, was what I had to do to enjoy myself. Well this study in sparkling wine has taught me more than just how Champagne and Prosecco is made; it’s taught me that well-crafted sparkles can be affordable, you just have to find the right one. Rotari — thank you for making “the right one(s)”…
I like Balletto wines. I like that they are easily accessible in every sense of the word. They’re available at most local shops; they’re affordable; and they’re (most importantly) fun and easy wines to drink. I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything by Balletto — and they have the added perk of still being a family-run business who sources their grapes from their own estate vineyards. So of course after enjoying their classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay offerings, I was most eager to give their sparkling brut rosé a go in conjunction with my holiday sparkling wine series.
Warning: This introduction contains a bit of personal information. I was never a huge fans of rosés until I started writing about wine. Through my studies and various opportunities to taste rosés made from different varietals, made in different styles, and — of course — from different regions, I can now edit that fact to state that I am quite picky about rosés. Similar are my feelings about bubbles. I rarely had opportunity in the past to have them; when I did, they all pretty much tasted the same. I’ve hesitated to write about them because they are, in fact, a whole different wine-making game.
But here I am working an a sparkling wine series, and lo, here is a wine that combines two things I’ve been iffy about in the past — a sparkling rosé. Spoiler alert: the Parigot Crémant Rosé past this skeptics taste test…
So I asked Adobe Roads winemaker Garrett Martin what method he uses to create sparkling wine and his answer was just too good not to share verbatim:
“This is a good story! My production space is right next to Lagunitas brewery. The folks over there are fantastic and good friends. When I got the creative inspiration to make a sparkling rosé I walked next door and chatted with them about the process – I mean, they make beverages sparkle every day! With some of their advice, I began running small scale experiments adding CO2 to kegs of rosé and eventually bottling in swing-top bottles. We had enough positive feedback that we took it from that ‘proof of concept’ phase to full production. I bottled the full-package bottling with another friend who has a sparkling wine bottling line. The short answer is that I use the Charmat method, but I like the full story more!”
Next I have to ask him about the time he put the sparkling rosé into a keg-tapping system designed for beer’s low-level carbonation. “Boom! Rosé mess everywhere…”