Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. For some that means being “swept off your feet” like in a romance movie. For others it is a day of resentment reflected in a good break up movie. For those of us who have been with the same partner or spouse for decades and have grown kids it really does not mean much at all. However, I am always up for an opportunity for bubbles. So whether or not Cupid’s arrow has its sights on you, Valentine’s Day can be a fun day to explore a wonderful world of sparkling wine.
Consider this, if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with the one you love then bubbles add elegance to the evening, if you are celebrating with your friends then bubbles create a party atmosphere, if you are enjoying a quiet evening alone then you have the entire bottle to yourself! Sparkling wine makes a great aperitif to enjoy as you wait for your bottle selection to decant. Due to its high acidity, sparkling wine pairs seamlessly with a wide variety of foods such as seafood, shellfish, poultry, pork, and red meat, as well as Thai food, French food, Sushi, Mediterranean food, the list goes on. Finally, allow a nice bottle of sparkling wine to dress up an ultra-casual meal such a fried chicken or a hamburger, you’ll be glad you did! Whatever this Valentine’s Day has in store for you a lovely bottle of sparkling wine will only make it better.
Join me in a sparkling journey around the world as we raise a glass to St. Valentine.
NV Pascual Toso Sparkling Wine Mendoza Argentina ($13): 100% Chardonnay; a real crowd pleaser with notes of citrus, green fruit and yeast; light and fruity with soft mousse and pleasing acidity.
2016 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz South Australia ($18): Have you ever had a sparkling Shiraz? The first time I had one I immediately did not like it, but was intrigued. By the end of my first glass I was hooked. It takes a minute to adjust to the overwhelming Welches Grape Soda sensation but once adjusted it is totally fun. No wonder the Aussies like to keep it to themselves. Try it with BBQ, you will be sold!
NV Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Rosé Brut Alsace France ($29.99): 100% Pinot Noir made in the traditional method; light in color and palate, notes of fresh strawberry dipped in cream envelope the senses; fresh, light, and highly pleasing.
2016 Luca Bosio Moscato d’Asti DOCG Piemonte Italy ($17.99): Who does not love a well-balanced Moscato? Made from 100% Moscato Bianco, it’s light and refreshing; notes of lemon/lime zest mix with white floral notes in an elegant and fun wine. At 5.5% alcohol I could drink the entire bottle.
2015 Vino dei Fratelli Prosecco DOC Conegliano Italy ($17.99): 100% Glera; Prosecco is having its day in the sun and well deserved; this wine is an easy crowd pleaser, the fruitiness of the Glera shines through in a wine that is crisp and clean with medium acidity and a kiss of sweetness natural to the grape.
2015 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine Stellenbosch South Africa ($24.99): A blend of 63% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinotage, 2% Pinot Meniur made in the Méthode Cap Classique; light pink energetic bubbles burst on the tongue with notes of red berries and buttered biscuit, it is elegant and sophisticated yet approachable.
NV Vilarnau Brut Reserve Rosé Cava Spain ($15.99): 85% Trepat and 15% Pinot Noir made in the traditional method; fresh picked red berries mix with refreshing citrus and a touch of brioche, light and lively, a fun wine in a beautiful bottle art embraces the family’s Barcelona heritage by reflecting the avant-garde imagery of Antonio Gaudi.
NV Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava Spain ($14.99): 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, 15% Xarel.lo; layers of fresh fruit including citrus, tropical fruit, and lemon zest dance across the palate, a complex wine that way over-delivers with an energy that begs for another sip.
NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne France ($69): It simply cannot be a sparkling round up without the world’s premier sparkling wine…Champagne. This gorgeous Ruinart is crafted of 100% Chardonnay, with notes of fresh citrus, orchard fruit, and even tropical fruit; layered and complex as you would expect with a fine perlage and gentle mousse feel on the palate with perfectly balanced acidity and a trail of baking spice and brioche; elegant and refined.