Valentine's Day is one of the few days in the year when you simply have to open a bottle of fizz. But what should you choose? To help you out (research was all in the name of work, we promise) we've selected some of our favourites that will be the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful bouquet of Valentine's Day flowers delivered .
This rosé Champagne, with its distinctive bottle, is a timeless favourite. It’s not the cheapest option, but this classic rosé is made using only Pinot Noir from grand cru villages. It has delicious raspberry and redcurrant fruit flavours with a subtle brioche finish that works wonders with seafood, rare beef salad, raspberry sorbets or dark chocolate desserts. That last pairing is enough alone for it to make our Valentine’s Day hotlist!
Valentine’s Day fizz isn’t just limited to champagne! This excellent rosé from New Zealand offers fine bubbles and a pale pink colour. The aromas are of strawberry and cranberry, with subtle potpourri and flint. The palate is explosive and abundant, with lashings of cherry fruit and sweet spice. Drink with smoked salmon or charcuterie canapés, sashimi or Peking duck.
English wines are taking the world by storm – UK grown sparkling wine is often beating the finest champagnes to awards. Few English rosés are more accomplished than Nyetimber Rosé NV. From one of the leading lights of English sparkling wine in West Sussex, it has a lovely delicate interplay of the floral and the spicy with just-picked, just-ripe, just-the-right-side-of-tart cherry and berry.
If you're after a good value bubbly without the Champagne price tag, Crémant (French sparkling wine), Cava (from Spain) or Franciacorta (Italy's answer to Champagne), are all made using the same method as Champagne. One of our top picks is the Bouvet Ladubay Saumur NV – a great value, easy drinker with delicate citrus fruit and a refreshing finish. A perfect aperitif.
Another great value but sophisticated and superb value wine from renowned Cava producers makes this Freixenet is a great choice. This premium cuvée sparkler is floral and honeyed with ripe stone fruit and citrus, and a refreshing acidity. With a name derived from the Latin 'Elysium', meaning heavenly or a state of perfect bliss, it appears to be ideal for the most romantic day of the year.
If prosecco is your sparkling choice, then look no further than this choice – a consistent winner of taste tests. A straw-coloured wine with apple, peach and pear flavours coming through, and a great price tag – we found it for £8 a bottle – led us think this is fabulous to drink on its own!
And finally, a slightly different wine – described by the growers as a really individual English style in the best possible way. The delicate salmon pink colour, lovely floral and strawberry aromas, and pure refreshing palate make this wine grown in North Cornwall a true delight.
By Austin Clark 22 January 2021