Like many when I think of Valentine’s Day I associate the day with the color pink. As I contemplate what to drink with my lover, I also think in the pink, which means my ideal romantic wine to share a special evening with my husband includes a bottle of either Rosé or sparkling wine of the same hue. Here are six wines that are wonderful options to commemorate and share with your sweetheart.
Besides being very fresh, there is something about Rosé that makes it a romantic wine to me. Perhaps I feel this way because I believe Rosé is a pretty wine with its hues ranging from iridescent pink to coral or salmon. Sometimes Rosé has copper tones and other times the color is almost opalesque or a ruby luminosity. Of course, the color can vary on the method used to produce Rosé or the length of skin contact, but it also varies on the type of grape utilized.
Day Owl Rosé 2017: I found this wine unique because it utilizes the Barbera grape. Although an Italian varietal the grapes come from several regions including Madera County, The Central Coast, and Paso Robles. The wine is a coral color, and on the nose, I found fruity scents of pear and peaches. The Rosé is bright and vibrant with refreshing flavors of stone fruit, peaches, and apricot along with red fruit and hints of citrus.
Ios, Aphrodite’s Kiss Rosé: The wine is named after one of the Greek Islands in the Cyclades and also the Goddess of love. The latter makes the perfect romantic wine for Valentine’s Day. Georgós Wines ships their grapes from Greece and the wine is produced in Sonoma. The grape, Agiorgitiko is one of the most widely planted in Greece. This Rosé is very dry. I love the crisp, savory characteristic that balanced against the fruit flavors and hints of spice on the finish.
Sparkling wine comes in many forms, such as Champagne, Prosecco, Crémant, and Caves. My recommendations are for Valentine’s Day 2018 are Caves and Crémants.
Cava comes from the Catalonia region in the eastern part of Spain. The production of Cava is similar to Champagne.
Vilarnau is a small, artisan cava house located near Barcelona that dates back to 1949. The name of the winery refers to the Arnau family castle that once stood where the vineyards reside today.
The label/wrap on the Cava bottle represents imagery we associated with Barcelona and the avant-garde of its time, Art Nouveaux. The label is colorful and vibrant, which signifies the wine that lies within. If ever there was a label that represents Valentine’s Day or a romantic wine it is Vilarnau’s Brut Reserva Rosé.
Vilarnau Brut Reserva Rosé NV: Combining Trepat and Pinot Noir the sparkling wine has somewhat bigger bubbles than its counterpart, the Brut Reserva. Lively flavors of Raspberry and cherry dominate while one detects some tartness that adds to the wines demur.
Vilarnau Brut Reserva NV: This wine utilizes the three base wines that typify Cava, Macabeo, Xerel.lo and Parrellada. The bubbles are smaller than those in Vilarnau Brut Rosé. Aromas of Citrus and yeast permeate the Cava, while one finds flavors of almonds, lime, and Meyer lemon.
Utilizing Méthode Champenoise, the process of creating Crémant is similar to Champagne, but the regulations are less restrictive as in Champagne. Crémant comes from France, and there are nine regions classified to make Crémant. For this article, we will be discussing wines from Crémant de Limoux, which is located in the Languedoc region of France. The area is located in the foothills of the Pyrenean Mountains of Southern France. Typical for this area the Crémant includes Chenin Blanc. Also, Crémant utilizes the Mauzac grape in addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Domaines Paul Mas, Côte Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé NV: Blending primarily Chardonnay with Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir, this wine has a creamy texture that reveals flavors of sweet berry including raspberries and strawberries. I even detected some cotton candy.
Domaines Paul Mas, Côte Mas Crémant de Limoux Brut NV: Combining Chardonnay with Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Mauzac this wine had a more Champagne yeasty quality. Although only a small percentage goes into the blend, one tastes the Chenin Blanc. This very dry Brut displays citrus and lemon and minerality.
With love in the air, almost any one of these sparkling wines will make Valentine’s Day a memorable one.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer was hosted to many of the wine sampled. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.