In preparation for summer, I was brushing up on crop rotation schedules and fertilizer formulas in The Old Farmer's Almanac when I suddenly remembered that June is National Rose Month. Holy compost heap! I thought. That's a perfect reason to write yet again about one of my favorite topics - rosé sparkling wines.
Of course, you don't actually have to be into roses to find a reason to celebrate with rosé bubbly in June. It also happens to be National Adopt-a-Cat Month, National Turkey Lover's Month, and - heaven help us - National Accordion Awareness Month. (I'm not making this up, folks.) There are also June weddings to consider.
Champagne has been compared to the complexion of that rare modern-day phenomenon, a blushing bride. And remember that June also brings us the first day of summer, a season I always ring in with a dip in a hot tub under the solstice full moon. If none of these is reason enough to pop open a sparkler, then you'll just have to create your own excuse. Or you might decide the heck with it - who needs an excuse?
Rosé sparkling wine makes great sipping while rose gardening and, for the truly accordion-aware, it's a great accompaniment to polka dancing. Try one of these three bottles and see how infinitely better June looks through rosé-colored glasses.
TAITTINGER CUVÉE PRESTIGE ROSÉ ($53)
Making champagne is a painstaking procedure, and creating a rosé is even more involved. The pink tinge can be achieved in one of two main ways. The first is to add a dose of red still wine to finished white champagne. This practice is very common in champagne, but Taittinger's Cuvée Prestige Rosé happens to be made the other way: by macerating the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes in their skins during fermentation to achieve color.