Depending on your point of view, this may or may not be the best time to break out the bubbly, but a glass or two of sparkling wine might give us all a little lift right about now — especially if the price tag is modest and what’s inside the bottle over-delivers.
A perfect example is the Brut Rosé from California’s Domaine Chandon. Festive, fruity, and refreshing, this is a go-to bottle for just about any occasion and a variety of food pairings, at about half the price of even the least expensive bottles of Champagne (an average price of $19, according to Wine-Searcher).
Now let’s be clear: This is not Champagne. The Napa-based Domaine Chandon was created in 1973 by the company that owned Moët & Chandon, the famed Champagne house, and a California wine pioneer, John Wright (both Moët & Chandon and Chandon are now owned by LVMH, the French luxury-goods conglomerate).
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While you won’t find the signature combination of fruit, minerality, and creaminess that defines Champagne’s complexity (and makes it unique in the wine world), what you will find is a refreshing, dry, fruit-forward sparkler with pretty red fruit tastes, especially ripe cherry and strawberry, with herb and lime-peel notes and a touch of cream on the persistent finish.
The blend in Chandon’s Brut Rosé is 73 percent Chardonnay, 26 percent Pinot Noir, and 1 percent Pinot Meunier, with the pink color coming from the skins of the Pinot Noir. It can be enjoyed with a variety of foods, including burgers, grilled chicken, salmon, and vegetables — or even a nice piece of strawberry shortcake, ideally with fresh farm-stand berries.
As a matter of fact, it sounds like a perfect wine to include in your celebrations this July 4th weekend.