In the Spirit: Romantic Rosé Bubbles
Valentine’s Day can go a number of ways -- from first date to marriage proposal or even the occasional romantic throwdown. Regardless of how your day plays out, you should strategize with a bottle of bubby for either celebration or consolation.
This year EDGE recommends going pretty in pink. You can pair a sparkling rosé with just about any type of food or drink it stag. There are ranges of flavor profiles from the extra dry to sweet, and from budget conscious to the bottles with a hefty price tag. Plus, it’s pink -- very flirtatious and amorous!
The majority of quality sparkling wines go through a process of a second fermentation in order to make the bubbles bubble. Here are two common ways or methods to make this process happen:
Méthode Champenoise or Traditional Method
This starts with a still wine, then a second fermentation in the bottle that creates carbon dioxide (thereby bubbles). This can be a labor intensive and costly way to make sparkling wine but the complex, delicious end result is worth it -- and often reflected in the price.
In this instance, the wine is pressurized in a large stainless steel tank where the second fermentation takes place. This method is great for wines meant to be drunk young like Prosecco from Italy that tend to have a lighter, fresher taste profile.
The pink color can be made by blending still white wines with red wines (the method mostly used in true Champagne) or by the saingée method, which in French means, "to bleed." With this method the winemakers keep the wine in contact with the red grape skins for a few hours, then the juice is "bled" off resulting in a pink wine.
EDGE suggests a range of rosé sparkling wines to enjoy this St. Valentine’s Day, whether you’re planning a romantic tête-à-tête, celebrating with friends or flying solo.
Lini 910 Labrusca Rosato Non Vintage-$15
Lini has been making sparkling wine for more than 100 years. This is a traditional, yet modern style pink Lambrusco, which is also the family of grapes used in the blend. They make this with the Charmat Method, which adds to the freshness of the wine. The label even conjures images of Cupid himself, lending to the romantic play of this Italian bubbly. Dried roses and cherries abound and it has a great acidity that you can pair with appetizer fare, like salumi and Italian cheeses.
J Brut Rosé Non Vintage-$38
This California sparkling wine is made in the Méthode Champenoise, but is a non-vintage, with blends of many different vintages going into the final bottle. This helps main a consistency of style. It’s bright and fresh with strawberry notes while still being a dry rosé.
Assistant Winemaker at J Vineyards, Scott Anderson is one of several LGBT winemakers who have taken part in activities such as The Big Gay Train organized by Out in the Vineyard. This is a great resource to plan a romantic getaway with your Valentine or at any time of year.
La Grande Année Rosé 2004-$200
This is a vintage rosé Champagne that might just distract you from any other Valentine’s Day activities while you are drinking it. It is super complex, layered and intense with whiffs of cherries and toast. Not every year is declared a vintage, so these are extra special wines to be shared.
Madame Lily Bollinger herself left a powerful impact on the industry. Her husband died in 1941, leaving her to take charge during World War II, and her business savvy and production innovations such as modernizing blending make the Bollinger house what it is today. Her legacy is one of several "widows of Champagne," which include Madames Pommery and Clicquot.
"I only drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone," mused Madame Bollinger. " When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise I never touch the stuff unless I am thirsty."