Rosé is one of those wonderful wines that offer people a middle ground between white and red. Featuring many of the refreshing qualities of an Italian white wine combined with just a touch of the complexity you can expect out of a red, Rosé is perfect for when you’re not sure which of the two you want.
It’s no surprise that this type of wine is popular.
But what many may not know is that there are actually a number of sparkling varieties of Rosé wine.
As with so many other sparkling wines, there are various methods that producers use to create them. Some opt for the traditional Champagne method, which results in sparkling Rosé wines that are a touch creamier. Then, there are those who use the Charmat method.
It’s these Charmat wines that we’re going to focus on here.
In this article, we’re going to dig into what the Charmat method is. Then, we’re going to tell you what you can expect from a sparkling Rosé wine made using this method.
What Is The Charmat Method?
If you’ve ever enjoyed a Prosecco, you’ve already enjoyed a wine made using the Charmat method.
Invented in Italy, this method differs from the traditional way of making sparkling wines in a variety of ways. The basics involve storing the wine in large steel tanks, which trap the bubbles that occur during the carbonation process. This differs from the traditional method, which tends to focus on trapping the wine’s bubbles within the bottle itself.
It was invented by a man named Federico Martinotti in 1895. Though the process has Italian origins, it was perfected and improved upon by a French producer named Eugéne Charmat, hence the name.
The Charmat method allows for larger batches of wine to become carbonated, creating a smoother production method. It also allows for the production of sparkling wines at a lower cost than the traditional method, which is one of the reasons why you’ll generally find Prosecco wines cost less than Champagne.
Of course, sparkling Rosé wine can be made using either method. However, it is likely that you’re enjoying a wine made using the Charmat method if you’re drinking an Italian sparkling Rosé.
What You Need To Know About Sparkling Rosé
Now that you know a little more about how these wines are made, it’s time to hone in on what you need to know about the wines themselves. With these notes, you’ll learn a little more about what the wine presents to the drinker and how to best enjoy it.
It’s Older Than Sparkling White Wine
As strange as it may seem, sparkling Rosé wines are actually older than the seemingly more traditional sparkling whites that you’re accustomed to. While wines made using the Charmat method are clearly inspired by white wines, early sparkling Rosés have existed since 1775. In fact, most early sparkling wines were pink in colouring, meaning this type of wine has played an essential role in the development of the sparkling whites that we know today.
Sweetness Depends on the Production Method
The reason we’ve stressed the production method at the top of the article is that it has a drastic effect on the taste of the wine.
Sparkling Rosé wines made using the traditional Champagne method tend to come out fairly sweet. This makes them ideal for use as dessert wines, as well as making them great for an introduction into the world of wine.
A wine made using the Charmat method tends to come out a lot dryer, likely owing to the larger space afforded during the carbonation process. A Charmat sparkling Rosé will thus share many qualities with Prosecco. While still having an element of sweetness to it, this style allows more of the grape’s more interesting qualities to come to the fore.
The Production Method Also Determines The Cost
In the same way that a white sparkling wine will generally cost more if it’s made using the Champagne method, so too will a sparkling Rosé.
The Charmat method allows for greater volumes to be produced in a single sitting. The large tank also enables the use of the various bits of a red wine grape much easier than the Champagne method. Generally speaking, a Charmat sparkling Rosé will be much friendlier on the bank account than one made using the Champagne method.
There Are Some Common Notes
Again, the production method used will result in some variances in the notes you’ll discover when drinking this type of wine. However, there are a few that tend to be common among all sparkling Rosé wines, regardless of whether they fall on the sweet or dry side of the spectrum.
These notes include cherries, white flowers, citrus, and other red fruits. It’s these notes that contribute to the classic Rosé flavour that you’re looking for. However, which of them stands out the most will depend on the producer’s methods.
Versatility Is A Hallmark
Of course, the obvious question for any Italian wine is which foods does it pair well with.
When it comes to sparkling Rosé, the answer is wide-ranging. This is one of the most versatile types of wine around because it mixes the qualities of red and white grapes with the carbonation of sparkling wines. A lack of tannins, coupled with high acidity and a fruit-forward flavour profile leads to a wine that works brilliantly with almost anything.
It’s especially potent when combined with sweet barbecued foods and canapes. The sweeter version of the wine pair well with rich desserts, with the dryer versions doing well when paired with fried appetizers.
It’s entirely possible to serve a sparkling Rosé wine through an entire meal and not have it feel out of place during any course.
The Final Word
If you’re looking for a different experience, a sparkling Rosé made using the Charmat method ticks all of the boxes. Distinctly Italian thanks to its production method, this type of wine offers a dry profile that has enough variety in its flavours to pair well with many types of food.
Of course, you can find many examples in the Xtrawine collection. Who knows? You may be about to discover your new favourite wine!
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