Champagne, more specifically pink Champagne or Rosé Champagne, is a suggestive and seductive choice on the most romantic holiday of the year. It is associated with celebration, luxury and romance. The gentle tickling of the bubbles and the soft pink hue suggesting femininity give a wink to romance.
Pink Champagne spurred Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant’s relationship in An Affair to Remember, raising the bubbly’s reputation as a romantic elixir. In real life, Grant was married briefly to Dyan Cannon, a Tacoma native and West Seattle High School and University of Washington graduate.
Kerr and Grant could make car exhaust fumes romantic, for that matter. Since you are not Grant or Kerr, here are some suggestions on wines to drink with your special someone on Valentine’s Day. There are many other alternatives to Rosé Champagne in various price ranges, including an Italian fizzy wine that pairs ethereally with chocolate, to consider on Valentine's Day.
Let’s begin with the real deal, Champagne from the namesake region in France. Both Rosé and Blanc Champagne are ideal for a romantic occasion such as Valentine’s Day. In fact, there’s no bad occasion or wrong food pairing with Champagne. It’s magical that way.
Here is a recent for the New Year’s celebration. Some deals from that holiday season are holding over to February.
For example, in downtown Bellevue sells Bollinger non-vintage Brut Special Cuvee for $49.99. , also in downtown Bellevue, sells Henriot non-vintage Brut Souverain for $32.99 and Duval-Leroy non-vintage Brut for $28.99.
For a deal on Rosé Champagne try Jacques Copinet non-vintage Brut Rosé for $41.99 ($12 off) at Esquin Wine Merchants in Seattle’s SoDo District. Grand Cru Wine Shop sells Jacques Chaput non-vintage Brut Rosé for $39.99, discounted about $10.
For more values, turn to sparkling wines made outside Champagne. Albert Bichot Brut Rosé is made in France’s Burgundy region. Like much of Champagne it is made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and it is vinified in the Methode Champenoise style, which originated in Champagne. The sparkling wine sells for under $25 and is readily available at local retailers such as Whole Foods and other major supermarkets.
For a domestic sparkling Rosé try Ecosse Brut from the Willamette Valley. It is made with Champagne’s traditional varietals of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier in the traditional Champagne style. It retails for around $25 at Esquin Wine Merchants and in Bellevue.
If you prefer still Rosés, Cedergreen Cellars in Kirkland makes a Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend Rosé from the 2010 vintage. It retails for $13.99 at Grand Cru Wine Shop.
The perfect food and wine pairing for Valentine’s may be chocolate and Brachetto d’Acqui, a slightly fizzy red wine from Italy’s Piedmont region. Brachetto is distinguished by flavors of raspberry, black cherry and strawberries, and notes of cloves and violets.
The 2010 Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui Pineto sells for under $20 at most specialty retailers. The 2010 Nivasco Brachetto d’Acqui is available for under $20 at Portalis Wine Shop in Ballard and Grand Cru Wine Shop.
Paired with chocolate, the combination is reminiscent of chocolate raspberry cake or chocolate covered strawberries. The wine finishes with food friendly acidity without rendering dishes bitter. At only 5.5 percent alcohol it is plenty elegant at the end of a rich meal and it won’t knock you or your lover out.
Or as Chris Zimmerman of Italian wine importer Vias Imports Ltd. explains, “The Italians want to go to bed but they won’t want to go to sleep.”
Check other local specialty retailers such as in Kirkland, in Redmond, on Mercer Island, in Woodinville, Wine World in Wallingford and both McCarthy & Schiering locations on Queen Anne Hill and Ravenna. Most of the wines recommended are readily available. If you call your local wine shop by this weekend they may have it in their stores by Tuesday.