It’s that time of year again, where every store has gone red shift, or perhaps pink shift, with Valentine’s Day this Friday. Even if you don’t have a Valentine, we’re primed to be our own Valentine and still get a little something special for ourselves, so why not get a great Valentine wine? Which begs the question, “What is the best wine for Valentine’s Day?” My first (and best) answer is: the wine your valentine loves best! Knowing your loved one means knowing what wines they love, so do a little research (easy if you are buying it for yourself). If that’s not really an option now (asking now would seem a little suspicious, and perhaps ruin any chance of surprise) then let’s consider some other options.
We can go for the literal, and look for bottles with hearts on the label, or perhaps a scarlet label with a couple embraced (like the Dalliance red, my choice last year), or even a chocolate flavored wine (like the creamy ChocoVine). Perhaps think of a place you and your valentine have visited, or would like to visit, or maybe a place where you went on your honeymoon. Any of those would be fine choices, but for me this year it’s all about the bubbles and a blushing hue.
We are trained to think of Champagne or sparkling wine when we think of celebrations and romance, and finding one with the right color range seems obvious. They can rage from dry, like the Rosé Bruts from Champagne (like Haton’s Brut Rosé), to very sweet like the sparkling Pink Moscatos (and a great sweet choice would be Giorgi’s Moscarosa, which definitely has some residual sugar on the palate), so there is an option for everyone’s palate. Blushing like a young valentine, these sparkling rosés can be a perfect option, and taste even sweeter with a couple of fresh strawberries plopped in.
One of my favorite pink sparklers is the Collalto Spumante Rosé, and it’s romantic for me because it reminds me of an amazing trip to Italy I experienced last year. Drinking this sparkling wine with a vast array of appetizers at the famous Hotel Danieli, on the Canale di San Marco in Venice, stands out as a very romantic occasion, even though I was not with my loved one. Made of the local Manzoni Moscato grape, this lightly pink sparkler has a beautiful color and a soft floral nose that is reminiscent of heirloom roses, a very romantic flower indeed, and wild strawberries. The hint of sweet fruit makes it perfect to drink alone or to pair with chocolate, our other mandated Valentine consumable. Though not as sweet as Pink Moscato, the Collalto Spumante Rosé has just enough ripe fruit flavor to appeal to both dry and sweet pinkos, and that definite floral nose is very romantic indeed.
All of these wines mentioned are available locally at ABC Fine Wines and Spirits, so go to the local Farmer’s Market and get some fresh, Plant City strawberries and create your perfect Valentine greeting. Just pop the cork and get romantic! Cheers!