Valentine’s Day Tip: Don’t Give Roses, Give Rosés

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and whether you’re flying solo this year or enjoying a romantic evening with your better half, we have one tip for you: Spend your evening drinking Rosé!

These are some of our favorite sparkling pink wines, all known to cause lingering looks, lip-biting, and the occasional swoon.

We’ll take rosés over roses any day. All bottles below are on sale through February 14th!

Grignolino Sparkling “Roseus,” Montalbera – NV
Why We Love It:
Prior to phylloxera, Grignolino was the everyday red wine of Piedmont. It is an unpretentious varietal that gives fresh raspberry and subtle spice. When the grapes are pressed correctly, it will give just the right amount of tannin, which lends structure. This sparkling rosé version has a beautiful, slightly copper-toned, salmon color that looks smart in the flute. Tasting it, we find a creamy, mouth-filling effervescence. This dry bubbly is an appealing balance of slightly sweet and tart aspects. Enjoy toasting your Valentine with this as a great start to the evening!

Rosé Brut, Lallier – NV
Why We Love It:
Is your loved one like mine? She loves fruit-driven wines that are well balanced and complex. Not too sweet, not too dry, just plain tasty and perfect for the occasion. The Lallier Rosé Brut meets all of these demands and delivers. Strawberry and raspberry meet balanced acidity in lovely hue of pink. Perfect for Valentine’s Day? We’ll let her be the judge, but I’m feeling pretty lucky!

Bruno Paillard, Brut Rosé – NV
Why We Love It:
Bruno Paillard launched his own Champagne house (the first in almost 100 years) in 1981 at the age of 27. He had spent the previous six years as a broker, affording him extensive knowledge of the region. His technique for this rosé is unique: he uses 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay, with one parcel of Pinot Noir yielding white juice only, and a second parcel seeing long maceration, producing red juice. The two are married with some Chardonnay, for a bit of white fruit character. A three-year stint on the lees gives the wine complexity, while the low dosage (8 to 9 grams per liter) keeps it dry. The delicate floral aromas belie a powerfully structured wine with chalky minerality and razor-sharp acidity. I can’t think of a better companion for some briny oysters, or a spicy shrimp cocktail.

Bollinger, Grande Année Rosé Brut – 1999
Why We Love It:
Despite my intense grower-producer proclivities, I’ve always had something of an affection for Bollinger. Setting them apart is their rigorous attention to the quality of their fruit, their resulting wines, and their adherence to some old-school production techniques. A wetter and leaner vintage than most declared years, this 1999 forgoes some of the house’s trademark power and richness in favor of a more elegant style. Characteristic yeasty and autolytic notes are here, but the emphasis is more on kirsch and ripe strawberry, set in a frame of gunflint and smoke. The color comes from 7% of their famous red wine blended into their main cuvée. This is a wine for a special occasion, but as I am a strong proponent of Champagne as an accompaniment to a meal, this is a wine for a special occasion ideally involving lobster.