Lifting: a Rosé Story

Pink bubbly occupies a mythological spot in my mind. It represents true romantic love. It represents true platonic love. It represents self-care. It’s something I open demonstratively in front of my cat. I’m not sure why. And yet, overall, rosé somehow beckons of hope—they are the beginnings of some somethings. Sparkling rosés are wines for sharing and wines for hogging, and most of all, wines for consuming, particularly as spring springs. I started writing this thinking I’d pair bubbly rosés with spring activities when I realized I think I might have done that before, so rather than pairing with spring activities generally, I am putting them together with what I happen to be doing this month and next. If that difference isn’t clear, you don’t know me. PAIR WITH DAY DRINKING Brunch season is upon us. To be clear, I hate everything about brunch (the sunlight! The sunbeams!), but I LOVE justified day-buzzing so long as it doesn’t ruin my vampiric nights. So. Something low-abv and extra-chilled is the name of the game. Almare Spritz Pompelmo Rosa Made from Glera (the grape most known for its place in Prosecco) and infused with bitters and grapefruit, it’s like amped-up Fresca, i.e., a grapefruit soda, with booze and finer bubbles. The froth, the tart but ripe tang of grapefruit, the pleasant bite…I want to drink it all day, and thanks to the 8% abv, I kinda could. It’s not quite pink, so I couldn’t officially include it here, but I also LOVE the more orange-salmon-y colored Almare Classico, a bitter orange bubbly reminiscent of a Negroni Sbagliato. PAIR WITH FAMILY GATHERINGS I’m meeting with my family in Texas this spring to see my dad get an award, and of course, I’m in charge of wine. I want one honoring family, so…this called for a sparkler with a family story! The sisters behind McBride didn’t know they existed until way later in life, both growing up in wine country though—one in New Zealand and one in California. Share this with family, biological or chosen, it feels friendly, it feels right. McBride Sisters Brut Rosé From Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, babyyyyyy. Super-duper refreshing. Pink grapefruit and fresh raspberry and wet river stones vibes. There’s also a touch of spice and herbs—a sprinkle. It finishes with a hint of blood orange and lilacs. Love it. PAIR WITH THE BROAD (OR CONTEMPORARY/MODERN ART IN GENERAL) I respect The Broad, a museum here in Los Angeles, and was excited to see the latest installments with friends, but given that the Infinity Mirror Room is basically a selfie room, it is on trend, so the rosé should be pale there. Still, the artists want it to be an off-the-beaten-path rosé ergo---CAP CLASSIQUE! Boschendal Méthode Cap Classique Brut Rosé It is a touch herbal and almost earthy on the nose, somehow hinting at reduction, but I don’t think that’s it. The bubbles here are supreme—some of the finest and plushest outside Champagne, if I’m being honest. The palate brings that contrast of fruit and very good white bread-toast. So good I’m shocked at the price. PAIR WITH OPERA OMG, I was headed to La Traviata, obvi I should have secured some Trentodoc or Franciacorta, but that’s what I get for sourcing wine before deciding on my angle. So, instead, I am going with equally highfalutin (I’m sorry, but opera still feels highfalutin’ even if it is trying not to be that way) and went with a deep rosé Champagne. NV Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Champagne What a rich color, evocative of passion. The nose brings in blood orange, raspberry, underbrush, and wet chalk. Love the plush bubbles playing with (likewise plush) tannins—it creates quite an experience, your senses volleying from one sensation to another (like an opera diva’s coloratura???). The palate echoes the nose but brings in fun fun fun saltine cracker and baguette notes. A genuinely musical Champers. PAIR WITH NOT GOING TO COACHELLA Forgive me if this is inside baseball. Coachella is a huge music festival in the desert, and SO many people from LA are attending. I would if it weren’t for the sun. But! So many hipsters and literally all the most beautiful skinny people on earth go there to take selfies, leaving the city to us craven corpses to travel the highways with significantly less traffic. You want something as easy and perky as the energy you get when you see you’ll make it from Koreatown to Encino in merely 30 minutes. Chateau de Ribeauville Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé Le Comte It’s so bright and fun—more fun than the bright sun you’d be subjected to at the concert: vibrant strawberry jam and almost more of a white bread dough or sourdough starter element on both the palate and nose, but the former draws in some herbal intrigue. The bubbles are as fine and plush as you could wish for. Luxuriate in not being in a crowd, but at home with your wine and your cat (just me?) PAIR WITH PICNIC HIKES Okay, here in LA, I take a monthly picnic hike year-round with a group of friends. We time it so our two-miles-ish hike lands us at the lookout point close to sunset. We lay out a spread, and I always bring a rosé of some sort. Then, full of food, wine, and mirth, we make our way down and back into the fray of the city. It demands a refreshing rosé that stands up to the array of flavors. Enter a potent Lambrusco! Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena “Premium” Lambrusco di Sorbara She’s a stunning fuschia shade. Full of fine bubbles and red fruit fun—the nose has a sort of raspberry jam and figs vibe. On the palate, I seriously envision cherry cough drops (the best parts) and a bit of banana sweetness, though this is dry, finishing with a bit of a nutty salinity I dig. PAIR WITH PIE Two friends and I throw pie parties a couple of times a year. We make the pie, and our friends show up to eat it. I drank this prepping a beet pie and a key lime margarita pie (slightly boozy but gluten-free thanks to a gluten-free pretzel crust. If you want to have a party in LA, you need a gluten-free offering even more than a vegan one). It was an excellent accompaniment to taste-testing both the sweeter and the more savory. Jansz Premium Rosé This is a traditional method rosé from Tasmania that is a total steal. It brings a certain ripe wealth of raspberries and candied cherry, countered by almost a white pepper floral tick and then the bubbles rush in to make it all a plush, pleasing mouthful. Super bright, but not necessarily light, it pulls its own weight, but it also has weight. Reviving. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: A Brief Tour of Armenia in Four Wines Cup of Salvation + Your New Favorite Wines Oscar Libations Ellen in Lalaland: Thai Town What to Drink When You’re Not Drinking for Dewy or Dry January: 2024 Edition Mad, Mad, Madeira World Crémant On Unexpected Reds You can also listen to Ellen's podcast, The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! Kelsey Phelps Wine Situation Final Five! Jiaqi Tang

Cleto Chiarli

Mention Honorable Vecchia Modena Premium Lambrusco di Sorbara

Stunning fuschia (like a level up from electric pink)! Full with fine bubbles and ripe but also savory ripe cherry (verging on Ludens in a good way) with an almost nutty finish. So damn good. — a month ago

Bob, Vin and 5 others liked this

Maschio Beniamino

Spritz Almare Pompelmo Rosa

Amped up Fresca with a bit of alcoholic bite. I’m friggin’ in love. It’s your day drink it’s your aperitivo, it’s your I-don’t-want-to-get-trashed it’s also DELICIOUS. Win win win win wine(ish). — a month ago

Vasanth, Daniel and 5 others liked this

Cave de Ribeauvillé

Les Comtes de Ribeauvillé Brut Crémant d'Alsace Pinot Noir Rosé

Bright and fun—vibrant strawberry jam and sort of a sourdough starter element square off with herbal intrigue. — a month ago

Laura, Daniel and 2 others liked this

Jansz Wine Company

Premium Non Vintage Rosé Blend

A very energetic mouthful, somehow ripe and pulling it own weight (with acidic towing equipment) so you don’t feel the weight but you know it has a body, like me in an empire waist dress. Zingy ripe raspberry makes friends with preserved lemon while white toast and white pepper duel it out as to who is the loudest (but not the whitest we know the toast wins that). Really a delicious steal from Tasmania. — a month ago

Bob, Tom and 5 others liked this


Brut Rosé

A little and earthy on the nose, with supreme bubbles and a good contrast of ripe berries and white toast. — a month ago

Bob, Laura and 3 others liked this

McBride Sisters

Hawke's Bay Sparkling Brut Rosé Blend

Sooo refreshing chock full of pink grapefruit and wet river stone vibes. Share share share! — a month ago

Bob, Laura and 4 others liked this