This time last month (the evening of Friday 13th March) it was my first ever Pink Fizz Tasting event. Not only the first Pink Fizz event, but my first event of the year (which hopefully won’t be the last given this strange year).
I’d wanted to do a ‘Pink Fizz’ event for a while (after already doing Prosecco and English Sparkling Wine events) and spent the beginning of 2020 finalising my line up. My Italian producers make some amazing sparkling rosé wines which aren't Prosecco (incidentally Rosé Prosecco doesn't exist, yet) as well as fabulous pinks too from English producers.
The event took place as part of the LoveClay Ladies Evening in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent. Thirty ladies enjoyed a glass of Pink Fizz on arrival (the fabulous Fitz Pink Sparkling English Wine, Brut RRP: £22.00. which is made using the Charmat method which is how Prosecco is produced). Three very different workshops followed: make a pot (it is held at the UK’s clay HQ), a Spring make up workshop and my Pink Fizz Tasting session. Forty five minutes per session with about 10 ladies per group that rotate.
In my workshop, we tasted another 5 sparkling rosé wines in order of sweetness (drier to sweeter), both Italian and English. I shared general facts about how the wines were made, the wineries that make them as well as how a narrow flute isn’t the best glass for sparkling wine - we used wider glasses (more on that in another blog!). The other 5 wines we tried and chatted about were:
- Ca’Salina, Brutissimo, Extra Brut – an Italian sparkling rosé Moscato made using the Manzoni Moscato grape with only 0.5 grams/litre of residual sugar. Very dry but amazingly fruity, with delicious notes of strawberry, peach and vanilla. Made using the Charmat Method (like Prosecco). RRP: £17.95
- Second was, Sharpham Wine, Sparkling Pink, Brut - an English Sparkling Wine made with the Pinot Noir grape. 3.4 grams/litre of residual sugar so still very dry. Lovely notes of fresh raspberry and cranberry. Made using the Traditional Method (like Champagne). RRP £27.00.
- Next up was Lyme Bay’s Sparkling Rosé, Brut – an English Sparkling Wine made with the classic Champagne grapes of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier grapes. 5.4 grams/litre of residual sugar so again quite dry. Beautiful and elegant notes of honey, red fruits and a hint of brioche. Made using the Traditional Method (like Champagne). RRP: £28.95.
- Forth was Furlan’s Rosé Spumante, Brut – a delicious Italian pink sparkling wine made using Glera (the main Prosecco grape), Cabernet Sauvignon and Manzoni Bianco grapes with a residual sugar level of 12 grams/litre. Stunning aromas of strawberries as well as strawberries and cream on the plate. Made using Charmat Method (like Prosecco). RRP: £17.95.
- Finally, Ca’Salina’s Manzoni Moscato, Dolce – a sweeter one using the Manzoni Moscato grape with 50 grams/litre of residual sugar. Wonderful aromas of strawberry jam. Made using Charmat Method (like Prosecco). RRP: £15.95.
A popular misconception was that most people think that pink wines are sweet. Most of the wines for my Pink Fizz event were in fact dry and very dry. It just depends on how the winemaker makes it. Also we discussed what makes a pink fizz. The wine needs a red grape to give it the pink colour which also can add to the flavour. Rosé wines can be made with just a red grape (as the flesh is actually white and the colour comes from the skin) or a combination of white and red grapes.
At the end of each session, I asked the guests to nominate their favourite 2 wines from the line up. Each wine was someone’s favourite. However the overall joint favourites, turned out to be the driest and the sweetest. Most guests liked both! This was Ca’Salina’s sparkling Moscato in Extra Brut (very dry) and Dolce (sweet). Both are excellent wines, but it really surprised me how many people loved the Extra Brut. Guests commented that although it had very low sugar it didn’t taste too dry as they had expected, probably because the wine tastes and smells really fruity. The sweeter style surprised many guests too, as it’s not a sickly sweet wine but has a well balanced acidity with the wonderful sweetness plus lots of divine fruity notes.
Hopefully it won’t be too long till the next one?! In the meantime, you could always do your own Pink Fizz tasting at home with the ‘Pink Fizz Discovery Box’ featuring all the wines we tasted during the evening. If you do, please let me know what you think and what your favourite was.
Owner of Just Perfect Wines
13 April 2020