For years rosé champagne has been dominated by just a few names with very specific styles, some of which you’ll recognise and deserve to be on this list because they are excellent. But there are also plenty of other fantastic options from smaller champagne houses available from new online champagne shops like Sip and Bubbleshop. Both distributors showcase small champagne producers some of which have never been sold outside of France until now. Peter and Daniel, the two founders of Sip are keen to demonstrate how varied and exciting champagne can be and to persuade people to think of champagne like wine – a drink for all occasions. Here are ten great choices of special pink bubbly for Valentine’s Day.
1.Ruinart Rosé, £70
In 1764, Ruinart launched the world’s first rosé champagne according to the Maison’s accounts book which includes a record from that year of a shipment of “a basket of 120 bottles,” 60 bottles of which were Oeil de Perdrix. Oeil de Perdrix refers to a delicate pink coppery color, which Ruinart say proves it was shipping a pink champagne as early as 1764. Ruinart’s delicate pomegranate pink is produced from a perfect balance of 45% delightfully fresh chardonnay and 55% full bodied pinot noir.
2.Champagne Aspasie, Brut Rosé, £42.95
Champagne Aspasie, exclusively available in the UK from Sacred Spirits in London, is working towards an entirely organic vineyard, a status enjoyed by less than 2% of champagne vines. The House operates twelve hectares of vines and works with four rare grape varieties and three modern: Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, as well as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. These are crushed on the family’s “Coquard” press, fermented and bottled at Maison Aspasie. The rosé champagne is a dry and delicate champagne, with light spice and plenty of blackcurrant on the nose.
3.André Levasseur Extrait Gourmand Brut Rosé NV, £42.00
Certified organic, this rosé champagne from André Levasseur is crisp, dry, buttery, rich and soft all at once. Pale pink, based on a blend of 50% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Noir, the palate is creamy and sweet. A really smooth and delicate choice: simply delicious.
4.Jean-Marc Sélèque, Infusion Meunier Rosé, Extra Brut, 2015, £69
Distributed by award-winning sommelier Sandia Chang’s Bubbleshop, this is a rosé for gastronomy. This delicious champagne is made from 100% Pinot Meunier grapes from single vineyard, Les Charmiers, planted in 1964. Completely barrel fermented and aged on cork for four years, expect flavors of rich blood orange, pomegranate and toasted spices.
5.Taittinger, Brut Prestige Rosé NV, £52.15
A benchmark rosé, Taittinger is a brand that has rightfully gained the loyalty of champagne lovers everywhere. Intentionally packaged in clear glass to show off its pretty pink hues, this champagne’s aromas are fresh, with wild strawberries, cherries and a hint of spice. You can’t go wrong with this ideal combination of fruitiness, freshness and delicate bubbles.
6.Alfred Gratien, Brut Roser NV, £52.89
Newly launched VIDA Wines & Spirits UK highlights its top rosé champagne for Valentine’s Day. The Alfred Gratien rosé NV is the perfect choice; pink-hued, this fresh and elegant fizz is guaranteed to make a romantic statement.
7.Champagne Drappier, Rosé de Saignee, £49.99
Champagne Drappier has been producing champagnes for over 200 years and their wine cellars date to the 12th century, when used by Cistercian monks. They have a completely sustainable way of wine growing and making by using no herbicides or insecticides and working the soil manually with horses. Their dark pink champagne features a palate of pure red fruit: raspberry, strawberry and cherry.
8.Jean-Philippe Trousset, Rosé Extra Brut, £50
Available from Sip, this champagne is from a maison founded in 1932, now run by the fourth generation, Jean-Etienne and Jean-Emmanuel, who work with vineyards mainly in the village of Cramant. With a nice juicy front end of strawberries, the champagne is a blend of 46% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 18% Meunier, with 6% red wine added.
9.Bertrand Delespierre, Saignée des Terres Amoureuses 2013, £70
Rather than a blend, this rosé champagne is macerated for 24 hours and vinified in large oak barrels (which is what gives it the blood red color, rather than having red wine added to the mix). Featuring apples, loganberry and spice on the palate, it has an amazing balance for such a rich wine. A proper explosion of a wine, also available from Sip.
10.Fortnum & Mason, Rosé Champagne NV, Billecart-Salmon, £46.50
First founded in London in 1707 after Queen Anne gave her footman William Fortnum permission to sell on discarded candles from St James’s Palace, Fortnum & Mason is described as “the world’s most famous cornershop.” This trusted brand has its own pink champagne, beautifully packaged and with a delicate flavor. Fortnum’s Brut Rosé has been aged in Mareuil-sur-Ay from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.