Friday, December 27

Cheers for New Years with a look at some of my favorite pink bubbly and ways to gift them for friends!

With the New Year just a few days away, 
let's talk bubbly...
and I must confess my favorites 
are usually pink.  
Billecart-Salmon Vineyard in France
go pink
Well, it's not because pale pink is basically my favorite color, but I am enamored with Rosé Champagne.  I was not a huge fan of Champagne until I discovered the pink version, and now this is my "go to" cocktail for special occasions.  In case you are not a wine connoisseur (I am not), here is my overly simplified explanation of the Champagne process...
All "Champagne" must hail from the Champagne region in France, and all others are simply called Sparkling Wine.  Champagne is basically wine which is then covered with sugar and yeast and bottled for weeks/months -- during this time is when the bubbles are produced during a second fermentation process.  Sparkling wines are made similarly but from what I have read avoid cheap sparkling wines where carbonation is simply added like carbonated soda.  Rosé Champagne tends to be more expensive than others and I like the various flavors with each sip.  What makes it pink?  
Rosé champagne is made two ways:      
1). basically white wine grapes with a little bit of red wine combined before the fermentation/bubby process.  
OR, 
2). to let the wine soak up the color from the grape’s skins and this bleeding in French is called, “saignee”.   
near my home is
Wolffer Estates vineyard in
Bridgehampton, Long Island

We are planning to head over to our friend's country cottage for the weekend to clink glasses and ring in the new year, and it is a treat to enjoy being guests (rather than hosting).  I have been contemplating what to bring as a hostess gift.  A very stylish friend of mine once told me that the wrapping on a gift is nearly as important as the gift itself, and it sets the tone of the importance you place on the friendship. That gorgeous ribbon and beautifully wrapped box tells the recipient you thought about them a great deal.  I am planning to bring a  half of a dozen choice bottles of our favorite Champagne.  I'd like to wrap it creatively. I spotted these images and though how fun it will be to give a "New Year Party In A Box" with the Champagne, some streamers and noise makers/hats for our celebration.


 image courtesy Bhg.com
I think I will start with a unique gift box like 
these wine boxes from PackQueen.  
 I like the caddie to hold all six bottles or these two-pack gold or white boxes which showcase the labels from Pack Queen
I would also like to stock up on these little pink boxes and caddies for my summer entertaining from Pack Queen as well, because Summer 2014 is just around the corner.  They will make the perfect wrapping for hostess gifts, maybe with a fresh flower on top.  
Now, here in a nutshell are my favorite top three Champagnes-- each varying price ranges but the ones 
I reach for over and over again...
a bargain
1. NV Louis Roederer Estate Brut Rosé
is easy to drink...

This Christmas Eve we opened a bottle of this Rosé and it was delightful and not pricey at $32.00 a bottle.  To me, it is nutty or toasty (probably the Chardonnay grape) but also fruity/citrusy and a little cherry. They age it for up to two years.  Check out this rave review below.  It was very easy to drink and I agree with the sugar cookie/strawberry assessment...
"Sleek and rich, with floral strawberry and sugar cookie aromas and elegant, layered citrus, tart cherry and mineral flavors that linger toward a vibrant, lightly spicy finish."
1. Billecart-Salmon
is delicate and balanced...
100 percent chardonnay grape, this family-owned Champagne House founded in 1818  controls the fermentation production.  The Brut Rosé non vintage was awarded the “Best Brut Non-Vintage champagnes” by “La Revue du Vin de France” in 2010.  It is a little bit more pricey than some but worth it for the special occasion. I picked up a bottle for $75 last New Year and served it to my guests, who loved it!
"bright and elegant, this offers appealing flavors of ripe black cherry, raspberry and orange peel that show hints of toasted raisin bread, anise and sweet smoke.  Offers a beautiful texture, with a long, mouthwatering finish"
Wine Spectator
Special occasion
When my daughter got accepted into Cornell University last year, I popped the cork of my favorite champagne, and this pink version was wonderful.  It is pricey and I paid over $100. but worth it for a special occasion. The Champagne has a long line of famous folks ringing it's praise.  The Duke and Duchess of Windsor (William and Kate) served the pale version at their wedding, and Winston Churchill reportedly drank this Champagne religiously and even through a war -- using this famous quote to explain...
"In defeat I need it, in victory I deserve it."

Whichever you choose, 
 go pink for New Year's Eve, 
and if you are a guest,
 your host will love it festively wrapped!
check out more images from this post 

note:  Pack Queen is a sponsor of Nest by Tamara