Only Pink Bubbles Will Do For Valentine's Day

What's more romantic than Champagne? ᅡᅠPink Champagne or sparkling wine. For me, it's bubbles or nothing. ᅡᅠAnd they should be pink.
02/11/2013 03:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What's more romantic than Champagne? ᅡᅠPink Champagne or sparkling wine. ᅡᅠI've been pitched all sorts of wines to recommend for Valentine Day celebrations, but most of the wines are still wines. ᅡᅠNone of those will do. ᅡᅠFor me, it's bubbles or nothing. ᅡᅠAnd they should be pink.

 

The traditional choice is Champagne, and my go-to wine is the Billecart-Salmon NV Rosᅢᄅ, with its delicate bubbles and salmon pink hue. ᅡᅠThis is a brut sparkler, very dry, with a subdued floral and fruity aroma, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. ᅡᅠAt around $75 it is a splurge -- but believe it or not, it's available on Amazon.com

I'm a big fan of California sparkling wine, and some of the best bubbly is produced by Domaine Carneros.ᅡᅠ This house is in the Carneros region of Napa, which is a fantastic region for growing sparkling wine grapes.ᅡᅠ For Valentine's Day, the exceptional Cuvᅢᄅe de la Pompadourᅡᅠ($36) perfectly fits the bill, with a romantic story behind the label. ᅡᅠMadame de la Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress, is said to have introduced Champagne to the French court at Versailles in the 1700's. ᅡᅠShe is known for saying, "Champagne is the only wine a woman can drink and remain beautiful." ᅡᅠThe Cuvᅢᄅe de la Pompadour is a beautiful sparkling wine, light rose in color, with tiny, persistant bubbles. ᅡᅠIt has a bouquet of strawberries, stone fruit and white flowers. ᅡᅠThis brut style wine is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. [Sample from winery]

 

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Spain's sparkling wines offer great value. ᅡᅠCalled Cava, it's also made in the traditional method of Champagne. ᅡᅠI find the wines of Seguras Viudas to be exceptional values, and at $10 you can't go wrong with the Brut Rosᅢᄅ, a non-vintage sparkler. ᅡᅠFull of red berries like cherry, it's an easy drinking wine. ᅡᅠThe grapes in this bottle are Garnacha (a.k.a Grenache) and Trepat, both in the Penedᅢᄄs region of Spain outside of Barcelona.

 

From Italy, I like the Berlucchi Cuvᅢᄅe 61 Rosᅢᄅ ($24) ᅡᅠThis comes from the Franciacorta region, which is in Lombardy. ᅡᅠThis non-vintage bubbly is not a Prosecco, but a wine made in the metodo classico, which means it is made in the same way a Champagne is made, with the secondary fermentation happening in the bottle. ᅡᅠBut it doesn't carry the hefty price tag of Champagne. Berlucchi's Cuvᅢᄅe 61 is a Rosᅢᄅ of Pinot Noir blended with Chardonnay. ᅡᅠFresh and bright, with strawberry and red plum fruit. [Sample from winery]

 

If I had to pick my one favorite of sparkling Rosᅢᄅ, it has to be Mionetto's "MO" Cuvᅢᄅe Rosᅢᄅ 1887 NV. ᅡᅠThis sparkling wine comes from the Valdobbiadene region in Italy. ᅡᅠIt is fresh and lively, with bright red fruit and zesty acidity. I love the red berries and rose aroma on this wine. ᅡᅠIn other words, it's just delicious. ᅡᅠThe price of $18 is also much more affordable than many other sparklers. The date 1887 on the label is for the year that the house of Mionetto was established.