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What does pink champagne taste like?

Pink champagne, often called rosé champagne, is a sparkling wine made from a blend of red and white wine grapes. It gets its distinctive pink hue from leaving the juice in contact with the grape skins for a short period of time during winemaking. This allows the juice to extract color from the skins before fermentation. But what does this elegant bubbly actually taste like?

The Flavor Profile of Pink Champagne

The flavor of pink champagne can vary quite a bit depending on the specific grapes used in the blend and how it is produced, but in general it has some characteristic flavors:

  • Bright – Pink champagne tends to have a bright, fruit-forward taste. You’ll often detect juicy berry flavors like strawberry, raspberry and cherry.
  • Dry – True champagne is always dry rather than sweet, with very little residual sugar. Even fruit-driven pink champagnes tend to finish crisply and dry.
  • Minerally – The chalky soils of the Champagne region in France lend a distinct minerality to all wines made there. In pink champagne this comes through as a chalky, seashell-like flavor.
  • Bubbly – The effervescence from the second fermentation in the bottle gives champagne its signature fine, delicate bubbles. This contributes to a lively mouthfeel.
  • Balanced – Good champagnes, including pink ones, are complex but also balanced. No single flavor should overwhelmingly dominate.

How Pink Champagne Differs from White and Red

Pink champagne has some major differences in taste compared to traditional white (blanc) and red (rouge) champagne:

Versus White Champagne

  • More fruit-forward – While white champagne can have fruit flavors, pink tends to be more prominently fruity.
  • Extra body – The addition of red wine grapes gives pink champagne a rounder, richer mouthfeel.
  • Lower acidity – Pink champagnes are perceived as less tart and crisp than their white counterparts.

Versus Red Champagne

  • More delicate – Red champagne’s bold red fruit and tannins make it intense in flavor compared to the subtler pink version.
  • Less dry – Pink champagne typically has a tiny bit more residual sugar than the very dry red styles.
  • Better bubbles – The effervescence in pink champagne is often finer than in red.

Common Grapes Used in Pink Champagne

There are three main grapes commonly used to make pink champagne:

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the main red grape of the Champagne region. It adds body, berry flavors and floral aromas to pink champagne blends. A minimum of 7% Pinot Noir is required in champagne.

Pinot Meunier

Pinot Meunier is another red grape permitted in champagne. It contributes fruity flavors like raspberry and plum. The name means “Miller’s Pinot” in French, referring to its flour-like dusty coating.


This is the principal white grape used in champagne blends. It provides acidity, elegance and citrus notes like lemon and green apple. Most champagne contains over 50% Chardonnay.

How Rosé Champagne is Made

There are two main methods used to make pink champagne:

Maceration Method

This involves leaving the skins of black grapes in contact with the juice for a brief period – usually 12-72 hours – before pressing. No extra red wine is added. This technique extracts subtle color, fruit flavors and tannins from the grape skins.

Blending Method

The other way is to blend a finished white champagne with a finished red champagne. The amount of red wine added determines the depth of color. Less red makes it pink, while more makes it ruby-hued.

Pairing Pink Champagne with Food

Here are some delicious foods that complement the bright fruit flavors of pink champagne:

Food Why it Works
Smoked salmon The touch of sweetness contrasts the smoky fish.
Sushi Bubbles and acidity cut through the rich fish and rice.
Berries The fruit flavors mirror each other.
Spicy Asian food The chill of the bubbly cools the heat of chiles.
Charcuterie The dryness balances fatty meats like salami.

Popular Pink Champagne Brands

Some top producers of pink champagne include:

Louis Roederer

Their Cristal Rosé cuvée is iconic, made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in equal parts.


Taittinger makes both rosé by blending red and white wines, and saignée rosé from maceration.

Moët & Chandon

Moët Rosé Impérial is a classic affordable pink champagne, fruit-forward with notes of raspberry.


The first established Champagne house, Ruinart’s rosé shows flavors of freshly picked red berries.

Veuve Clicquot

Clicquot Rosé was one of the first pink champagnes. It’s crisp with subtle citrus and berry notes.

When is Pink Champagne Served?

Rosé champagne is extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in many situations:

  • As an apéritif before dinner
  • At engagement parties and bridal showers
  • For anniversary and Valentine’s Day celebrations
  • At summer cocktail parties and picnics
  • With brunch
  • On boats/yachts

Its elegant rosy color suits both formal champagne occasions and relaxed outdoor entertaining. The lively fruitiness makes it very food-friendly.

Wine Tasting Tips for Pink Champagne

When evaluating a glass of pink champagne, here are some things to look for:

  • Clarity – Examine it against a white background. Good champagne is brilliantly clear, not cloudy.
  • Color – Tilt the glass and note the hue. It should be a pleasing shade of light copper-pink.
  • Bubbles – Watch the effervescence. Bubbles should be tiny, numerous and persistent.
  • Aroma – Swirl and sniff the aroma. Pink champagne often smells like fresh red berries, orange peel, brioche.
  • Taste – Take a sip and pay attention to flavor and mouthfeel. It should taste fruity yet dry, with a delicate mousse.
  • Finish – Note the sensations left after you swallow. An elegant rosé champagne has a long, clean, refreshing finish.

Serving and Storing Opened Pink Champagne

Once opened, pink champagne is best consumed soon and served chilled. To preserve bubbles and flavor:

  • Keep the bottle upright and very cold at 35-38 °F (2-3 °C)
  • Use a champagne stopper to seal it airtight
  • Drink within 2-3 days
  • Don’t let it warm up and rechill more than once

To serve, pour a 2-3 ounce taster or 4-6 ounce full glass. Choose tall, narrow flutes to prevent bubbles from dissipating too quickly. Enjoy this festive wine as soon as possible before the delicate effervescence fades.


With its lively red berry flavors and refined bubbles, pink champagne is absolutely enchanting. The beauty of its rose gold hue makes it perfect for romantic occasions and celebrations. But it also complements many types of cuisine and adds a dash of luxury to everyday dining. Next time you come across a bottle of rosé champagne, give it a taste to savor its charming fruitiness and refreshing finesse.