11 April, 2001

Pink bubbles are on the move

Pink champagne is on the rise. This is our pretty, palatable Rosé de Saigné with lots of scents and tastes of red fruits. On top of that one star in the latest wineguide of Hachette.

The girls said it already last autumn: Pink champagne is on the rise.

It is not that I trust this five ladies big group of champagneproducers and family of such to foresee the general development of the entire bubbly business, just because these five sell more rosé. But I certainly did place their statement in the category "interesting".

Now with the first quarter of the new year gone by the official statistics agree with these ladies though. Pink champagne really is moving upwards saleswise. Especially in Great Britain where the more wealthy part of the population seem to stick at nothing when it comes to champagne.

Anyway they drink more pink champagne than before, and the big houses have prepared themselves to meet the new demands. Well, I suppose its more demand that raises accordingly with supplies available really. The other way around - the more ordinary market mechanism - does not seem to apply the same way for Champagne, since new types and bigger quanties have to be planned many years in advance.

The rosé of the house of Ruinart with fine bubbles, a scent of cherries and other red berries, fresh and balanced with notes of fruit and delicacies. 45% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, 55% Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims, 18% of the blend is red wine. 80% of the grapes are from the harvest 2000, the rest is reserves from other years. (Much more at Ruinart's site)

More growth in the sales of rosé
During the last ten years, the wellknown British love of champagne has driven almost one third of the entire global growth in champagne sales. Since 2000 the spicy pink has increased impressive 20%, says the British newspaper, Daily Telegraph.

Most of the big houses do have a rosé in their assortment, and both giants - Moët et Chandon and Veuve Clicquot - expect very high rates of growth especially in the pink field during the next years.

Veuve Clicquot put expectations as high as one fifth of the sales of the normal big seller, the "ordinary" yellow label. The collegue in Épernay, Moët et Chandon, expect a growth as high as 20-30 percent during the next couple of years.

And this is even rosé champagnes are more expensive than the ordinary ones. Partly because it means more work. The colour demands more effort simply.

The house of Taittinger describes its rosé as fresh and young with a scent and taste of red fruits as wild raspberries, cherries and black currant. The bubbles are fine, and the foam persistent. The intense and shimmering colour originates from red wine of the house. More at Taittinger's site.

The beautiful colour costs
There are two ways of making a pink champagne.

The first and most commonly seen is to add red wine to the blend of the wine of the year and the reserve wines. Afterwards the blend is transferred to champagne bottles and yeast and sugar added. These three will form a trinity, that will end up with champagne. In this case the amount of red wine added decides the colour.

The other possibility is to produce a "Rosé de Saigné" - literally translated it means a bloody rosé. In the proces you leave the skin of the grapes to let it macerate with the juice at the time of the pressing. In this way the pigments from the skin will colour the otherwise cololurless must.

This is excactly the kind of colouring you normally want to avoid when you make champagne. Tha is unless you want to do a Rosé de Saigné. The longer you leave the skin in the juice, the more deep the colour of your final product will be.

The girls - forgive me that I return to my personal and quite unofficial focus group - also sell more small bottles. My personal dream for the time being is to combine the two, probably with more sugar than the ordinary final dosage of a brut. Perfect for a pretty cake with red fruits, perfect as accessory for inviting girlfriends for an occasion you want to turn out somewhat special.

På dansk

Copyright: The copyright for text and photos at bobler.blogspot.com belongs to Solveig Tange. You may use my articles, photos or parts of them for non-commercial use and if I am credited as the author. Feel free to link to this site but not in your own frameset please.

No comments: