We had been storing our bottle of Paul Bara Grand Rosé Champagne at the top of our wine rack for nearly a year awaiting an extra special occasion to pop its cork. Through the months, we took care to properly store this $60 bubbly – always on its side, never subjecting it to extreme temperatures, occasionally turning and, yes, even dusting it – but couldn’t quite commit to opening it.
Finally, with the eve of 2014 closing in, we had to act. The day before the big night, we began chilling the Paul Bara but, just to be on the safe side, iced down a back-up bottle of Bollinger as a sort of new year’s celebration insurance.
Soon after dark on New Year’s Eve, we put together a cheese plate and sat down to try our much anticipated rosé champagne. The clink of glasses, a toast, that first sip, and ... Lovely fruit balanced by a crisp backbone, not heavy at all. And, the wine’s copper hue, that Penny described as an Italian rose gold color, is amazing!
The perfectly ripe (but not over-ripe) brie and Bara were excellent together! There was no problem with the black peppered cheese and a liver paté with truffles. The fruit of this rosé was like the taste of early season Atlas Farm strawberries from the Copley Square Market.
Despite being 70% pinot noir, it’s a Champagne that’s not overpowering. It has finesse. It reminded Penny of “... people who deliver on what they say they’re going to do versus those who just talk a good show.” And, what a show it was! We couldn’t have been happier with our selection.
By the way, as you’ve probably guessed, there was no need for our rescue bottle of Bollinger. But, since it was prepped and ready to go, we invited this irresistible French charmer to join us at our New Year’s day table. Happy 2014!
For more about this special Champagne, see: Here's Our Wine Pick for New Year's Eve 2013
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2014 Penny & Ed Cherubino
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