We're only a week into the holiday season but don't be fooled; time is going to fly. While Christmas music still prompts an urge to sing along and the onslaught of holiday festivities hasn't reached its apex, now's the time to think about holiday beverages.
Whether you're looking for a hostess gift or something to serve at your own table, bubbly is always appropriate. While Champagne is a classic, I urge you to think domestic; specifically, the Chateau Frank Celebre Rose, Finger Lakes, NY, NV.
Dr. Konstantin Frank is credited as one of the forefathers of Finger Lakes wines. Merely ten years after immigrating to the US, he partnered with Charles Fournier and began producing quality wines in an area previously considered to be unsuitable for vineyard growth. He believed, and rightly so, that it was the rootstock, not the climate, that was the cause of mediocre wines. By growing European Vitis Vinifera, as opposed to the native Vitis Labrusca, he proved that this Northern New York territory could produce some stunning vino.
Years later, Dr. Frank's son Willy, gifted with his father's pioneering spirit, started Chateau Frank, a label devoted specifically to sparkling wines. Located down the road from the main winery, Chateau Frank inhabits an old winery that the previous owners converted into a champagne cellar. Carved out deep below ground, the cellar provides the perfect cool environment essential for champagne storage. Like his father, Willy believed that traditional varietals would thrive in the Finger Lakes climate, so he began growing the three classic Champagne grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Again, turning to France, he mirrored the methode champenoise, the traditional method for creating champagne, to great results.
The Celebre Rose showcases ripe strawberry and cherry with a hint of kiwi on the nose. A slight note of bread is also present in the aromatics, showing the traditional champagne method in action. Sipping through, the berries are bright and lively and the soft bubbles are texturally pleasing on the tongue. Delicious as an apertif or with fruit-based dishes such as cranberry sauce, this bubbly is a winner for the holidays.