If you have asked me what do I know about Rosé Champagne prior to last week, I probably would have said I know it’s rose in colour. However, I attended a fabulous masterclass of Rosé champagne pairing and tasting and I learnt oh so much. I have never been a person who understands wine (like the people who can taste, swirl and comment smartly on what they are drinking), I just drink what they give me and say mmm. If someone asked me to about champagne, it gets even worse. Not anymore. Following this fabulous lunch and masterclass with the Champagne Bureau UK and its Director Francoise Peretti, I am educated. Here are my tips for all my fellow wine/champagne shy people out there, fear not – it turns out is is simple 😉
First, who are the Champagne Bureau? The Champagne Bureau UK is the British educational arm of the Comité Champagne, a non-commercial trade association that represents all champagne houses, growers and cooperatives in France.
Champagne has always been this glamorous drink, that people associate with special occasions and luxury. It still is, but the rose market has started penetrating and changing people’s tastes the last few years.
DO YOU KNOW HOW PINK CHAMPAGNE gets its colour?
Now this is something I had absolutely no clue about.
Black grapes are actually white inside (insert mind blown emoji) so the colour comes from the skin not from the inside of the grape.
I mean if you knew this, you can stop reading now 🙂 So, in order to produce pink champagne, some champagne houses blend 15% red wine and some others, like the famous Laurent Perrier, bleed the colour from the dark grapes. Also, fun fact, Laurent Perrier were one of the first brands, to position pink champagne as trendy and cool. Can you imagine a world where this was not an actual fact?
Facts about champagne and how to choose the one
- There are about 2200 grape growers of champagne and about 150 houses
- Real champagne only comes from the Champagne district in France
- Real champagne (produced in Champgne) would never have gold dust particles or anything floating in the bottle. This compromises the quality and responsible growers and producers would never do it. So when you go to the supermarket thinking of treating yourself, don’t go for the sparkles.
- There are three types of grapes used to blend champagne:
Chardonnay – elegant and light
Pinot Noir – depth
Pinot Meunier – the fruity party
- Salmon, cheeses, meats are pink champagne’s friends in terms of pairing (I actually tried multiple variations and can comfortable say, it was all yum)
- Saffron seems to be a bit of a pink champagne fo, so possibly stay away
- My simple list of choice when going for pink champagne – lighter colour means crisper, fresher tones and darker colour means it is bolder and stronger. It all depends on the mood
One of the aims of the Champagne Bureau is to get people talking about champagne, the same way they talk about food. Have an opinion, there are no right and wrong answers by the way. Pairings you like may not be liked by others, and vice versa. Everyone’s taste buds are different, so enjoy what you enjoy.
I was invited to this Master class by THE CHAMPAGNE BUREAu UK.