Wine Time: Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve NV

COST: $78-82


WHAT: If you are looking for a nice wine to celebrate the upcoming holidays, Champagne is always a great choice. There are many good sparkling wines at lower prices, but for those special moments real Champagne adds something special.

The Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve NV is not a wine you would drink every day, but it is perfect to create memories. It’s bright and lively, full-bodied with a wonderful creamy taste. If anything could be called a party in a bottle, this is it.

Most Champagnes don’t have much aroma, but this rose has some notes of strawberry jam, gingerbread and cinnamon. The flavor dances across your tongue, with hints of blackberry, and raspberry. It has a delicate, creamy mouthfeel.

The blend is one-third Chardonnay, one-third Pinot Noir and one-third Pinot Meunier. It was aged more than 36 months. Champagne is aged in the bottle, not in barrels.

WINERY: Charles-Camille Heidsieck founded the company in 1851. His descendants sold it in the 1980s and in 2011 it was bought by the Descours family.

Charles-Camille Heidsieck was a visionary who made a name for himself in the United States 160 years ago by introducing Champagne to the New World. He became the toast of American society, attending parties of all kinds. His nickname was Champagne Charlie.

This Rose and the Brut Reserve are two new offerings by Heidsieck. Both are spectacular. They are made from first-rate crus and blended carefully. The brut uses 40 percent reserve wines while the Rose uses 20 percent reserve wines.

In Champagne each house has its own signature style. It is up to the winemaker to remain true to that style to find a delicate balance of complexity, depth and smoothness while keeping the wine fresh and new. These new Charles Heidsieck blends do it masterfully. The bottle has a sleek new shape, inspired by a bottle carved into one of the original chalk cellars in Reims.

GOES WITH: Champagne pairs well with nearly everything, so you can’t go wrong with whatever you serve. My wife, Teri, and I had it with a simple meal of steamed shrimp and a salad. It made the meal elegant and special. Champagne is great with elegant meals, but also with spicy food, nuts and cheese.


NOV. 8

Wine dinner, 6:30 p.m., Calvert’s, 475 Highland Ave.; Justin and Landmark wineries selections, $65; reservations (706) 724-1442

Wine and tapas tasting, 5-6:30 p.m., La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St.; four wines and three tapas; $19.99; (706) 722-4805

NOV. 9-10


Wine and beer tasting, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and 1-6 p.m. Nov. 10, Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Lock Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463

NOV. 14

Wine tasting, 6 p.m., Bee’s Knees, 211 James Brown Blvd.; wines new to the market, $15; reservations (706) 724-1442


NOV. 15

Wine tasting, 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; $5 with $3 rebate on purchase of a featured wine; (803) 279-9522


NOV. 16

Wine tasting, 7:30 p.m., North Augusta Community Center; $20 members, $25 nonmembers; reservations (803) 279-9522


➤ Look for Dennis Sodomka’s sparkling wine recommendations in the November-December Augusta Magazine.



Pop Rocks: Augusta, my Christmas wish list has one thing

My family often accuses me of being a difficult person to Christmas shop for. While it is true that my tastes run toward the particular and tend to lean heavily on easy-to-wrap standards such as books and records, I believe that as I get older, I’m less concerned with the item than the idea. Give me something I believe you have thought about and carefully considered, and I’m happy. The present clearly purchased at the drug store the day before is met with considerably less enthusiasm.

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