Top 10 Sparkling Roses for the Holidays

Step out of the box with some sparkling roses for the holidays


When people think of sparkling wine they tend to think of the white varieties, which of course are delicious and festive. However, when I think of the holidays and sparkling wines, my mind instantly goes to roses. The addition of a bright hue that can range from summery copper to a salmon pink, and even an assertive red just adds something more distinctive to the equation. And then of course there are the added flavors.
Sparkling roses tend to share certain elements with their white brethren; citrusy notes, yeast, toast, perhaps a touch of caramel, but at their best they add in layers of red berried fruit. This not only makes for a wine that is certainly out of the ordinary, and something special, but also makes for a wine that more often than not is better suited to pairing with the cold weather nibbles we so often pair sparkling wine with during the holidays. I’m not talking about caviar and salmon, but rather pate, cheese and in particular, the cured meats that adorn so many party platters.
So break out of the sparkling wine box this year and try a rose on for size.

Sparkling Rose image via Shutterstock

NV Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Cuvee de la Pompadour Brut Rose 12% $35

Light, almost cranberry red fruits on the nose are layered over creamy basenotes and a grapefruit top note with light dusty, yeasty highlights. Fairly broad and dry in the mouth, with just a hint of sweetness.  This is crisp with lovely and fairly intense red cherry and cranberry fruit in the mouth followed by a dry finish that is slightly astringent with hits of blood orange over strong raspberry fruit. Delicious stuff. 92pts

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2009 Naveran Perles Roses Cava Cuvee Antonia Brut 12.5% $30

Floral, deeply yeasty and attractively evolved on the nose. This shows impressive complexity with notes of white fruit, fresh buttery toast, cinnamon sugar, white mushroom, cactus fruit and faint ripe herbs on the nose.  Refined in the mouth with a bitter orange note on entry, followed by an almost peachy blush of orange fruit with hints of melon and light crabapple tones. The finish is long and subtle with a fine mineral base and low, almost bitter licorice base notes with light citrus fruits and hints of peach floating above. Sophisticated cava that is attractively light on the palate. 90pts

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NV Il Mosnel Franciacorta Brut Rose Italy 12.5% $34

Rather creamy on the nose with fine raspberry, lemon cream, pine nut and rose petal aromas. Bubbles that are bit large marr the entry just a touch, otherwise this is dry and firm with a fine blend of sweetness, acidity and astringency. There’s lovely, creamy richness on the mid palate along with faint almond and mushroom notes that add complexity to the dry pear, apple and melon fruit flavors. This finishes with excellent length and a fine base of dried flowers and yeasty tones touched with a hint of brioche. 90pts

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2011 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose Stellenbosch SA 12% $20

Very creamy and dusty on the nose with earthy red berry fruit and a hint of honey. With a very luxurious mouthfeel, this slides across the palate with red berry and sweet green fruits all supported by bright and well-integrated acidity and a creamy texture. A bit spicy on the back end and through the finish which shows a little graham cracker, as well as some faint red berry blood orange fruit. Super elegant and rather sophisticated. 89pts

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NV Gustave Lorentz Cremant d’Alsace Rose Brut 12% $25

This smells of sweet raspberries with hints of dried yeast, smoke, chalk and suggestions of candied lemon.  With a rather fine mousse and bright acids, this has both breadth and height in the mouth, delivering open raspberry and boysenberry fruit that’s framed with gentle suggestions of citrus and faint herbs. The finish shows more sweetness, but in a sweet/sour way with a nice dusty, yeasty base note and solid length. Refreshing and fairly refined in a fruit driven style.  89pts

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  • Snooth User: Galenp
    1126375 32

    I like this list, though I am surprised to see Segura Viudas on it and not Gruet sparkling rose from Santa Fe.

    Dec 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

  • Nice list! I have enjoyed Simonsig for years! Love it with anything - and everyday!

    Dec 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

  • Snooth User: EBGB
    902774 24

    Gregory, I have a question. You've done a number of sparkling wine pieces this winter, but - unless I've missed it - I've yet to see a mention of English or Welsh fizz. This despite increasingly frequent wins at international competitions for the likes of RidgeView, Nyetimber, Camel Valley, Bolney, etc.. Is this because you just don't see our wines in the US, or because you don't like them? If the latter, what characteristic is it that doesn't appear? Thanks.

    Dec 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

  • nice list

    Aug 20, 2013 at 4:36 AM

  • Snooth User: EmmaJansen
    1339600 34

    good list

    Sep 07, 2013 at 1:00 AM

  • nice one

    Sep 08, 2013 at 4:19 PM

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