Wine adds brilliance to Valentine’s Day | Wine DayDayNews


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Wine adds brilliance to Valentine’s Day | Wine DayDayNews

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Nyetimber Rosé, Sussex, England NV (£31.49, Waitrose) I realize that drinking pink champagne on Valentine’s Day is hardly the most spontaneous or raw act of love. It’s the one drink the Valentine’s Day industry has taught us we can’t live without – a vehicle for the wine industry to capitalize on our insecurities and take a slice of the lucrative field owned by florists and greeting card companies. Well, damn cynicism: of all the stupidly fabricated traditions on this stupidest and most commercial holiday occasion, pink champagne is one of my favorites to indulge in. The style has improved immeasurably over the past 20 years. Winemakers are taking it more seriously than in the past and producing more (rosés account for 10% of all Champagne production today; in 2000 it was just 2%). Something similar is happening on this side of the funnel: British sparkling wine makers are mastering wines with sexy pink hues and, in Nyetimber’s impeccable case, gorgeous tumble red fruit flavors.

Domaine Julien Sunier Wild Soul Beaujolais Villages 2020 (bbr.com; robersonwine.com) Other tantalizing pink sparkling wines to entice your beloved tomorrow include the pillow-soft, aromatic, sweet (and sweetly named) Fuchs & Hase Pet Nat Rosé from Austria (£20.40, peckhamcellars.co.uk); full-bodied The Vanilla Cherry Berry Co-op Cava Rosado Brut NV (£6.95, The Co-op) and the plump, satin textured and tropical fruity Ruinart Rosé Champagne NV (£69, jeroboams.co.uk). Does red sparkling wine count? Casa Belfi Rosso Bio Frizzante is from the country of Prosecco, made in the traditional way, the wine is re-fermented in the bottle, mild and supple, suitable for food cherry crunch and bite. For those looking for Valentine’s Day without bubbles, in France, the Valentine’s Day industry will push you to the bottle of a specific village in Beaujolais: St-Amour. Domaine Billards 2019 (£15.99) is a bright, berry-filled delight. But while the lovely name may not be on the label, Domaine Julien Sunier’s Beaujolais-Villages bottling has a real silky, skinny appeal.

Taste the Difference Gewürztraminer, Alsace, France (£9, Sainsbury’s) Can wine be sexy? The term is indeed used a lot in wine sales and wine writing, although usually it’s a bloodless, clumsy appreciation word rather than the more interesting perversions. But some wines do have a certain X-rated je ne sais quoi. For example, there is something very sexy about a great Pinot Noir from Burgundy. This has a lot to do with their sheer silk texture. But it is also because these wines, especially the aged wines, have an elusive animal note in their aromas, which gives them the same mysterious, elemental allure as true quality handcrafted French perfumes. A similar situation happened with Gewurztraminer in Alsace. When it’s young, it’s all a heady, dazzling rose-petal fragrance, as you’ll find in Sainsbury’s attractive bottling. However, try a mature bottle from a great producer like Zind-Humbrecht or Marcel Deiss and you’ll find yourself with a completely different, more mature multi-sensory experience.

Follow David Williams on Twitter @Daveydaibach

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