When the time for the festivities arrives, choosing champagne is not always easy. Brut, Extra-Brut, Dry, Semi-Dry, we all have our own tastes and habits when it comes to champagne. A region, Champagne, for different champagnes because the varieties of this bubble wine are numerous.
Today it’s Rosé champagne that will interest our taste buds! For some time now, it has aroused real enthusiasm because this champagne has the gift of distinguishing itself from others by its delicate pink-orange color, its fruity flavors and its captivating perfume. But let it be said, although it is often associated with femininity and softness, rosé champagne does not lack character!
So, to allow you to get to know Rosé champagne better and in particular that of the De Lozey range, we offer to shed more light on this sparkling wine and its two production methods.
- The stages of making champagne
- What is Rosé champagne?
- The main production processes
- Two methods for two different products
- Which Rosé champagne to choose?
- Rosé food and champagne: what pairings?
The stages of making champagne
If we have undoubtedly one day had the pleasure of having a glass of champagne hanging from our lips, we do not all have in mind the way in which this very subtle drink is made. So, before looking at Rosé champagne, let's quickly recall how this popular sparkling wine is made.
The term "champagne" refers to a specific type of sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. It is important to note that the name "champagne" is protected by French and international laws, which means that only wines produced in the Champagne region - respecting specific standards - have the right to use this name on their labels.
The method of making champagne, also called traditional method or champagne method, therefore, is the specific process used to produce high quality sparkling wines, such as champagne.
Here are the main steps of this method:
- the grape harvest: The grapes used to make champagne are harvested by hand to avoid damaging the bunches and to select the best.
- pressing: The grapes are pressed to extract their juice. This juice is called must. Pressing is often gentle to avoid extracting too much bitter substances from the skin and seeds.
- the first fermentation: The must is fermented to become base wine. This first fermentation generally takes place in stainless steel tanks.
- assembly: Different base wines from different grape varieties and years are blended to obtain a harmonious mixture which will serve as the basis for the final champagne.
- the addition of drawing liquor: A solution of sugar and yeast is added to the base wine. The bottles are corked with temporary caps.
- the second fermentation: The bottles are stored horizontally in the cellars for the second fermentation. The yeast consumes the added sugar and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide (bubbles) in the closed bottle.
- aging on slats: The bottles remain in contact with the dead yeasts during a period of aging on slats. This can vary from several months to several years, which contributes to the development of aromas.
- stirring: The bottles are gradually tilted, rotated and shaken to move the yeast deposits towards the neck of the bottle.
- disgorging: The necks of the bottles are dipped in an ice-cold solution to freeze the deposit. The temporary capsule is removed, and pressure expels the frozen deposit. This creates a sediment which can then be removed.
- the dosage : A small amount of sugar mixed with the wine, called "expedition liqueur", is added to determine the level of sweetness of champagne. The final cap is then put in place.
- additional aging: After disgorging, the champagne continues to age for a period of time to allow the flavors to integrate.
- marketing and tasting: The bottles are labeled, packaged and marketed. The champagne is ready to be tasted and enjoyed.
There are therefore many steps to produce champagne and each champagne house of course has its own practices contributing to the diversity of styles of champagne available. But what is rosé champagne? How do you get this soft, beautiful copper color?
What is Rosé champagne?
Rosé champagne, so called in relation to its color (like traditional rosé) was created for the first time in 1764 by the Ruinart house. Like white champagne, it uses the same main grape varieties. There are three in Champagne: two black grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and one white grape variety (Chardonnay). From these different grape varieties, Rosé champagne is therefore made using the same traditional method, the so-called champenoise method.
But Rosé champagne will be distinguished by its fruity aromas (often dominated by notes of red fruits such as strawberry, raspberry and cherry) due to the maceration of the skins of the grapes, containing tannins. The longer this maceration is, the more powerful the rosé champagnes are. It is often considered more complex and richer in flavor than traditional champagne, with a denser texture and sharper acidity.
Likewise, this sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region presents a very characteristic color ranging from pale pink to deep pink. But do not always rely on the color to determine the sugar level because it does not necessarily contain more than traditional champagne. Thus, this pink color of Rosé champagne appears during the process of its production.
Thus, two production methods allow Rosé champagne to be given this unique color.
The main production processes
To produce Rosé champagne, and give it this more or less pink color, there are two main production methods.
The first is called the assembly method. The second is called the bloodletting method. Both largely follow the steps of the traditional method of classic champagne but differ in the production process.
Furthermore, taste and color will change depending on the method used. It is also this diversity of flavors and colors that fuels the existing variety of Rosé champagnes.
The assembly method
As indicated by his name, the blending method consists of separately vinifying still white wine and red wine recognized by the AOC Coteaux Champenois. It is then sufficient to add a small proportion of red wine (5 to 20%) to the white wine before bottling.
If this technique is the most common, the fact remains that it is a Champagne specificity since Champagne is the only region in France to authorize the mixing of red and white wine. Likewise, the red wine used in the blend must be of quality and is generally produced from the Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grape varieties. White wine, for its part, can be made from any grape variety authorized in the Champagne region.
This method allows better control over the color and taste of the wine.
The bleeding method
The bleeding method, also known as maceration, is another technique used to produce Rosé champagne. It consists of let the black grape skins macerate for a short time (a few hours) with their juice until you obtain the desired color. The aroma extraction time will determine the color of the wine, which is different each year. We then obtain a still rosé wine, which is then worked in the same way as the white wines used to make white champagnes.
It is from this maceration that the best Rosé champagnes are born because this method, less common than the blending method, is more difficult to master and is more demanding. It therefore requires greater know-how.
Rosé de Saignée champagne has a more intense color than blended rosé, as well as more pronounced flavors of red fruits, due to the exclusive presence of Pinot Meunier or Pinot noir, as offered by the De Lozey house.
Two production methods for two different products
Both methods can produce high quality Rosé champagnes. However, While the blending method can give a more uniform color and more precise control over taste, the saignée method can produce wines that are more complex, more aromatic and richer in flavor.
Each of the steps therefore requires particular attention to produce a quality Rosé champagne. Thus, grape selection, dosage and aging are key factors that can have a significant impact on the taste and quality of the final Rosé champagne. So, although the method of making Rosé champagne may seem simple, it is actually more complex than it appears. The fact remains that the quality of the grapes and the skill of the winemaker are essential to produce an exceptional Rosé champagne.
Which Rosé champagne to choose?
The choice of a Rosé champagne depends on your personal tastes and the occasion for which you wish to taste it. Here are some suggestions to help you choose:
- Look for renowned champagne houses like Maison De Lozey or look for more confidential champagne producers who also offer quality wines.
- Choose a production method. As mentioned previously, champagnes can be produced by the blending method or the saignée method. The De Lozey house has favored the latter in order to offer rich and fragrant aromas to its Rosé champagne.
- Think about food and wine pairings. Rosé champagnes are versatile and pair well with many dishes. Rosé Secs Champagnes are generally best served with seafood, sushi and salads, while Rosé Demi-Secs or Doux Champagnes can accompany desserts or be served as an aperitif.
- Determine your budget: Rosé champagnes can vary considerably in terms of price, ranging from less than €20 to more than €200 for the most prestigious.
Ultimately, choosing a Rosé champagne depends on your personal preferences and the occasion for which you wish to enjoy it.
Discover our Rosé de Saignée
Sensual, our rosé surprises with its color and dazzles with its intense taste. Its assertive character will delight connoisseurs and amaze beginners.
Rosé food and champagne: what pairings?
Rosé champagne is generally considered a celebratory champagne, perfect for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, graduations or holiday parties.
More commonly, Rosé champagne can be enjoyed alone as an aperitif or accompany spring and summer appetizers.
It can also be enjoyed during meals, particularly to accompany seafood or meat dishes. If you prefer a fresh and light Rosé to accompany a fish or shellfish dish, the full-bodied Rosé champagne will pair better with meat or cold meats. It also goes perfectly well with world cuisine, in particular with oriental flavors mixing sweet and salty, spices or fruity recipes.
Rosé champagne will not lose its shine when paired with fresh, creamy cheeses like brie or goat cheese.
Finally, the sweeter and softer Rosé champagnes will be excellent companions when bringing out dessert, especially if the latter is intended to be light and fruity.
Thus, it is revisited all year round to accompany savory and sweet recipes. It is important to serve it chilled, at a temperature of around 8 to 10 degrees, to fully appreciate its flavors and aromas.
Now you know everything about Rosé champagne. All you have to do is let yourself be charmed by this champagne which can now be served as well in the middle of a festive meal as during a spring aperitif. Maison De Lozey now invites you to discover this sublime product which will amaze your guests during your next family meals or your next celebrations with friends.