This Thanksgiving will be a low key affair at Chateau Scheffler. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be celebrating. And before we get around to sitting down with the turkey and fixings, I usually like to sip a bit of bubbly and offer a glass to guests and family when they arrive.
An excellent and affordable sparkling wine for the holidays or any time at all is Gruet Brut Rosé ($18.99). Gruet Winery specializes in Méthode Champenoise sparkling wines – a French technique used in making Champagne in France.
However, you might be surprised to learn that Gruet – which sounds French – is actually a winery located in New Mexico. The grapes are grown in the highlands outside of Albuquerque. The winemaker at Gruet – Laurent Gruet – is French though. He comes from three generations of Méthode Champenoise winemaking and says his earliest memories were of working alongside his father, Gilbert Gruet, at Gruet et Fils winery in Bethon, France. In 1984, Laurent Gruet and his sister landed in New Mexico after looking to expand the family winery business and to locate affordable vineyards.
To me, Gruet sparkling wines are some of the best bangs-for-the-buck in America. What you get with Gruet is French Champagne style and quality at domestic sparkling wine pricing. That’s certainly true of Gruet Brut Rosé.
This is a beautiful, ruby colored sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, aged 24 month en tirage. Pop the cork and you’ll discover floral aromas with hints of juicy raspberry and strawberry. It is crisp, but not too acidic which makes it a good aperitif wine to sip. On the palate Gruet Brut Rosé is well balanced and medium bodied with lots of strawberry fruit flavor.
This is a delightful sparkling Rosé that would fit in with any celebration, but would also go down well alongside a plate of pasta with cream sauce or your favorite shellfish.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.