Sparkling rosé is one of the most versatile, food-friendly wines in the world. A New York City chef and sommelier prove you can't make a wrong match.
A decade ago, when Thomas Carter was a twentysomething sommelier at New York City's Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, a customer ordered a bottle of the prized 1985 Cristal Brut Rosé Champagne once a week. "He and his date would each drink a glass, and then he'd leave the other half of the bottle for the staff," Carter says. This was the beginning of his own love affair with sparkling rosés. Now the wine director and co-owner of the new Estela in New York City (estelanyc.com), he still adores sparkling rosés, whether they cost $20 or $200 (or $2,000!) a bottle.
While the grapes in these wines often vary by region, Carter says that all sparkling rosés have a great affinity for food: "Pink sparkling wines have a real depth of flavor, but a lot of acidity too, which makes them good with so many different dishes." Sparkling rosés—which are pink because the winemaker either blends red wine into the white or leaves the red grapes on their skins for a short period of time, so the color bleeds—often have a little bit more body and fruitier flavors than white sparkling wines, making them especially versatile.