Parigot & Richard Crémant Rosé Brut
Available at Wine Geeks Armonk; to order, call 914-273-WINE (9463)
Approximate retail price: $25
Holiday entertaining should be sparkling, colorful and fun from first sip to midnight mistletoe. Parigot produces a charming sparkling rosé that can aptly accompany you for an entire evening of festivities, from canapés to chocolate cake. The wine is a pink salmon color with soft bubbles imparting a youthful mousseux-like quality. Although the flavors are dry (brut) they suggest fresh fruit with hints of spice. Slightly underripe strawberry and tart apple flavors mingle with clove and lemon zest to give this sparkler its own personality. If you imagine a classic French champagne as a beautiful and confident woman, then the Parigot crémant rosé is instantly recognizable as her pretty and flirtatious younger sister. At less than half the price of comparable champagnes, crémants are a versatile alternative. Made from 100 percent pinot noir, this rosé draws its delicate hue from only a few hours of contact with the pinot’s red skins. Afterward the rosé is put through the labor-intensive methode champenoise—considered the superior process to ensure the highest quality of sparkling wines. In other words, the Parigot crémant rosé is produced as if it were champagne, but it uses pinot noir from Burgundy instead of grapes grown in Champagne itself.
Note: Serve crémants in flutes rather than the old-fashioned champagne glasses, which are flatter.