At a dinner that is part of my dear friend Marika Vida-Arnold’s Phenomenal Femmes series at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park, I tasted a slew of great wines from one of my favorite Champagne houses Ruinart, presented by their lovely chef de caves Amélie Chattin. An absolute favorite was the 2002 Dom Ruinart Rosé, for its rich, exotic profile. So I thought I’d write about it in this week’s column for Departures.com.
There’s something inherently special about a glass of sparkling wine, and all the more so if it’s toasting a romantic evening. But the magic isn’t just in the sipping: these wines almost always have an interesting story to tell about their creation, too, especially when the grapes in question aren’t white. I’ve always been especially curious about the treatment of the red grapes of Champagne—pinot noir and pinot meunier—whether quickly pressed and made into white wine or left on the skins, their pink juices mixed in later on. Although many common sparkling wines are white, I’ve been seeing more and more bottles that use red grapes, from the more traditional red pinots to indigenous varieties like grolleau. Here are some of the more interesting (and delicious!) sparkling reds and rosés I’ve come across recently, just in time for the iconic colors of Valentine’s Day. Continue reading