VinTrends: Pink Bubblies

vintrends wine column david furer

Don't miss David's other editions of the VinTrends column.


With the rise in diversity and consumption of sparkling wines during winter buttressed by its concentration of celebratory holidays, it bears scrutiny why we should continue to imbibe less noted types, such as pinks, throughout the year—more so since rosés have maintained their recent rise in popularity.

pink sparkling wines
Tasmanian Australia winery Jansz has been making pink wines for 30 years.

In conversation for my Drinking on the Edge podcast with three sparkling vintners, Tasmanian Australia winery’s veteran winemaker Louisa Rose told us that “there weren’t a lot of pink sparkling wines on the market 30 years ago when we started at Jansz.”

Since then, other sparkling-focused winemakers have crafted pinks amongst their whites, often based upon the same white varieties. An example is what Scott Caraccioli of Caraccioli Cellars in California’s Santa Lucia Highlands does basing his Pinot Noir-influenced pink in 60% Chardonnay with 1-2% still red Pinot Noir added back. “This gives it the opportunity, especially upon release, to express its red fruit characteristics, and when older, to give some umami notes,” he said of his estate-grown wines. “The market has preconceptions of how and when to drink sparkling wines, and it’s up to us in the wine business to shift that.”

pink bubbly wines
Scott Caraccioli of Caraccioli Cellars in California’s Santa Lucia Highlands bases his Pinot Noir-influenced pink in 60% Chardonnay with 1-2% still red Pinot Noir added back.

His perspective is reflected by England's Hattingley Valley's Sales & Marketing Director Chris Unger. “At Hattingley, we make ours with a proportion that’s barrel-fermented with the goal of developing some savory elements for a serious, prestige wine we treat more like a white Burgundy despite or because of its very delicate tannins,” he said. “We promote these less to be enjoyed purely in a celebratory environment but more agnostically at the table.”

Rose added, “At Jansz, our vintage rosé is 100% barrel- and wild-fermented so as to support the fuller-bodied character often associated with pink bubblies over whites, something we like to pair with scallops harvested near us.”

pink sparkling wines
Vines at Hattingley Valley in England.

Cella’s Manager Bernie De Luna has long worked deep in the heart of California’s wine country. With the clientele at this Monterey restaurant spanning the globe, they want to eat seasonal and drink local. “So I always greet them with a glass of Caraccioli’s sparkling rosé with an amuse-bouche or some of our starters,” says De Luna. “It delivers quality and value.”

Sami Gaston opened Portland, Oregon’s Bar Diane in September 2019 with “a passion for all things bubbles.” She’s always had a pink sparkler available by the glass, with this predilection reflected in the bar’s large, pink mural. With a third of her list sparklers, Gaston shared that skin-contact versions have recently become en vogue. “We serve a lot of oysters in this ‘date night’ space; the type of pleasure these impart link well with the playfulness people associate with rosé sparklers. We also do a lot of seafood tins with sparklers both rosé and blanc,”  she said. “Bubblies don’t inhabit as narrow a flavor realm as many people think, and those with a bit of residual sugar perform remarkably with many chili-infused dishes.”

Jelena Prodan, managing partner and beverage director of Chicago’s S.K.Y., Apolonia, and Valhalla, has been pouring New York’s Red Tail Ridge sparkling Pinot Noir PetNat, sometimes the traditional method version, by the glass at one or more of her operations since 2019.

pink bubbly wines
Jelena Prodan, managing partner and beverage director of Chicago’s S.K.Y., Apolonia, and Valhalla.

“Winemaker Nancy Irelan has pushed the envelope for these wines in her Finger Lakes region,” said Prodan. “For some reason, people are hesitant to order and drink sparkling rosé, though still rosés are really popular.”

So how does the wine pro allay this? “It’s important If we think outside of the box by veering from traditional wine pairings,” said Prodan. “Why not pour a saignée-style sparkling rosé with your savory courses rather than just opening a meal with it? You can even create entire meals with different sparkling wines—open with a Prosecco, continue with a contemporary Lambrusco, and end with that rosé whether bone dry or with a touch of residual sugar. These give you a lot of room to play.”

Rose summed up the reason why rosés ought to be a regular wine list feature, “They’ve so much pretty pink color, beautiful perfume, and flavor making them so much fun to drink—why wouldn’t we always be drinking rosé bubbles?”

Mentioned Wines

Caraccioli Santa Lucia Highlands 2018

Looking for a richer style? This California family operation was founded upon French principles but is loyal to its roots with its mouthful of berries and orchard fruits, creamy palate.

Hattingley England 2018

This blend of Pinots noir, meunier, and précoce are sourced from several counties, a testament to the conscientious winemaking evident in its restraint—yet packing a surprisingly long finish.

Jansz Tasmania 2019

Perched over the Bass Strait, Jansz's home Pipers Brook site takes full advantage of its cool winds, resulting in this poised, fine-boned, and serious pink.

Red Tail Ridge Finger Lakes 2018

Fun & (red) fruity while keeping a bone dry, mature balance. Medium-bodied, plenty of buoyant acidity befitting its northern New York origins as does the mineral-accented finish.


Since 1986, David Furer has served in the on- and off-premise trenches in his native U.S. and former adoptive homes of Great Britain and Germany; directed & hosted international wine business conferences in Europe, Asia, and online concerned with its future and climate change; and contributed to wines & spirits media outlets in the U.S. and Great Britain. He also provides marketing & communications expertise to organizations throughout the world from his New York home while somehow finding time to host the consumer-facing podcast Drinking on the Edge. You can reach him at [email protected].


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