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fearrington wine team

Looking Back at the Sparkling Rosé Champagne Wine Dinner

This dinner was one of our favorite events of 2019. Beverage Director Paula de Pano recalls the evening course by course and sip by sip. Enjoy!

If there’s one wine that I have trouble saying “no” to, it would be Champagne. It becomes worse when it’s rosé Champagne! The irony is that pink has to be my least favorite color in the world. For someone whose color palate spans black, white, and blue, pink is definitely out there. But special circumstances require ‘sacrifices’ and so I donned a pink dress for this wine dinner to keep up with the theme.

This wine dinner had more of an educational aspect to it, explaining the hows, whats, and whys of Champagne. How is Champagne made? What makes the wine pink? Why is Champagne so expensive? Talking about my favorite wine topic made this dinner such a fun event. Add on the marvelously prepared dishes that went with all of the wines – it was truly a night to remember.

Champagnes tasted during the evening spanned from non-vintage to vintage to prestige cuvées from top maisons to grower-producers. Nine different wines were tasted in flights of three, each with a different theme to match each other’s flavor profiles.

The first flight highlighted grower producers, Mouzon-Leroux, Frederic Savart, and Ulysse Collin, which needed a dish that was light and fresh, accented by citrus flavors. Chef Colin’s team composed a Japanese amberjack crudo with grapefruit and sweet corn redolent of summer flavors.

The second course dish was a Cotoletta alla Milanese – deep-fried veal cutlet with peaches and avocado. This dish had the textural crunch and richness that amplified the flavors of Ruinart, Gosset, and Moët et Chandon – all bottles served in magnum format.

Finally, to showcase the savory complexity of some of the top rosé Champagnes from Krug, Perrier Jouet’s Belle Epoque from 2005, and Taittinger’s Comte de Champagne from 1995, was paired with a dish of Beef Tenderloin juxtaposed with Tartare, with fennel and Welsh rarebit.

We hope to see you on our next wine dinners. It was truly a fun-filled evening to behold and experience. A full house was more than I could ever want for; to be surrounded by fellow bubbleheads enjoying top Champagnes and delicious food.

~Paula