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).
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.