The Difference between White Sparkling Wine and Pink Sparkling Wine
We suppose we should start by saying that we would gladly take any Hambledon Vineyard wine, in any hue, at any time – as they are all delicious. However, the preparation methods of white and pink sparkling wines do result in contrasting looks and tastes. These contribute to their suitability for different occasions and meals. It is of course, a matter of preference, but the below will give you a better understanding of these beverages and may help you to decide when and where you should serve each of these delightful drinks.
White vs Pink sparkling wine : How do they get their colour?
During the making of all wines, the grapes are pressed, splitting the skins and releasing the grape juice. The juice trickles down through the press floor leaving the skin, stalks and pips behind. It will be quite clear in colour whether the grapes are red or white, as the colour of a grape is held in the fruit’s skin rather than the flesh itself. At this point, the shade of the white sparkling wine will be evident.
The hue of pink sparkling wine is achieved in two ways. The red grapes can be put into a tank where the weight of the grapes on top will crush those at the bottom, splitting the skins and releasing the grape juice. The skins and juice remain in contact with each other and the colour is drawn from the skins. The longer they are allowed to sit together, the richer the colour of the wine. Hambledon Première Cuvée Rosé (note from author : sold out) is made in this way, with the skins and juice left in contact for eight hours to achieve its deep rose colour.
The other method we use involves blending still white and red wines. The white and red grapes are pressed separately, with the latter stored with its skins for a few weeks to achieve its colour. Both wines undergo an initial fermentation process separately before being blended and fermented for a second time in the bottle. Our Hambledon Classic Cuvée is a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, which gives it a lovely light salmon pink colour.
Food and Occasion
No matter the colour of its contents, we think you would agree that a bottle of bubbly is always celebratory. We cannot think of a party, big or small, indoors or in the sunshine, that wasn’t enhanced by a little English Fizz.
Both our white and pink sparkling wines make excellent aperitifs. Personally, we would select the Hambledon Classic Rosé if we were serving sweet canapés. It has a light strawberry character on the nose that begs to be paired with berries and cream. That said, we also think it’s divine with smoked salmon tartlets and the like. Its fruity, easy drinking nature makes it a pleasure at summer picnics.
The Hambledon Classic Cuvée is ideal for charcuterie. It has a high acidity that acts as a palate stimulant and really tantalises the taste buds, as well as cutting through rich and fatty meats and cheeses. For the same reason, our Première Cuvée is great for sipping on throughout a main meal. We would suggest pairing it with Asian food – its subtly spicy character is a good match for cumin and ginger.