Rose Champagne is one of the world’s most flexible food wines, and doesn’t get the credit it deserves for how well it works with cuisine. I love how it interacts with the complex flavors of Asian food, and it has been a staple on our Thanksgiving table for years. It is too bad that it has taken me so long to pair rose with Cinnamon’s ginger garlic chicken thighs as this dish has both the rich poultry and layered sweet and savory elements of both.
We enjoyed the Charles Heidsieck "Rosé Reserve" Brut Champagne ($59.99) immensely with our dinner. This Champagne is composed of 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier and treated to 20% of the famously old and complex reserves that this house is well known for. It gets 5-6% red wine Pinot Noir added for the color and flavor and is aged for at least three years on the lees. Cecile Bonnefand, the CEO of Charles Heidieck, released the revamped Charles Reserve wines in 2012. This was not just a packaged change- she had cut the vineyard sources in half, keeping only the best, and increased the age of the reserves significantly. I interviewed her when these wines were first released, and you can check that interview out here.
The Charles rose has the honest toast that comes from extended lees contact and very high quality, subtle dark cherry fruit from the still red wine added to the blend. The best thing about the wine is that this rich toasty character is balanced perfectly with top class chalky drive on the back end. Pairing it with ginger garlic chicken, the Champagne had the vinous power to match the assertive flavors of the dish, and the cut to refresh the palate after each rich bite. I love rose Champagne that can provide both richness, dark fruit flavor and top class refreshment- this Rosé Reserve from Charles Heidsieck delivers it all!
A toast to you!