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Most Romantic Sparkling Wines

Most Romantic Sparkling Wines


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Sparkling rosés are perfect for Valentine's Day

The new sparkling rosé ain’t your mother-in-law’s jug-handle white zin.

It’s Valentine’s Day once again, and this year you’re doing it right. Dinner is cooking away in the kitchen, the candlelit table is set, the flowers are in water, and the gifts are ribboned and wrapped. Your partner is on their way home, and if all goes to plan, they’re liable to fall in love with you all over again. While your meticulous planning and effort are likely to woo your one-and-only, a relationship like yours deserves some special recognition. It deserves a proper toast. True, a great bottle of champagne is nothing to scoff at, but perhaps this occasion calls for something even more exceptional fizzing away in your flutes. If trends hold this year, a good number of you will be pouring rosé, the dry, bubbly, salmon-colored phenomenon that’s swept the sparkling wine world over the last decade or so.

Most Romantic Sparkling Wines (Slideshow)

The new sparkling rosé ain’t your mother-in-law’s jug-handle white zin. Fear of the pink wine has abated recently, due in large part to serious winemakers taking blush colored wines seriously. The result has been a spate of pink sparkling wines that oftentimes trump their white counterparts in flavor and complexity. There has been such an influx of these wines in the market — demonstrating a vast diversity of flavors, grapes, winemaking methods, and growing regions — that it can be hard to tell what’s what.

There are only two cardinal rules:

  • The drier, the better. Pink wine has a bad rap largely because of the saccharine Kool-Aid that’s been masquerading as drinkable since the 1960s. The Brut Rosé, and those sparklers made in its image, are definitely the way to go. While you may find some bright fruit flavors at the front of your palate, the sugar quickly dissipates with a dry, often tannic finish.
  • For the most part, you get what you pay for. I’d say this is true more so for sparkling rosé wines than it is for traditional champagnes. While a $12 bottle of Frexienet Brut will suffice for a run-of-the-mill toast at an office party, you’re in much riskier territory in that price range for a rosé.

The list in our slideshow, with something for every budget, is but a sampling of all that’s out there to try, but it does offer fantastic alternatives to the plain-jane champagne to which we’re all so accustomed.


7 Sparkling Wine Cocktails to Make All Year Round

Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, your best friend’s birthday, or just a hot day in August, a sparkling wine cocktail is always appropriate. As we move away from the mentality that sparkles are only for celebrations, bubbly-based cocktails are popping up left and right — and we can’t get enough. We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite bubbly recipes to make year-round, no matter what the event is, because let’s face it, there’s really no occasion that doesn’t call for a sparkling wine-based cocktail.

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Up your vodka-lemonade game with this Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade recipe. Simply add fresh fruit and top with Cava. Disclaimer: This could be your new summer addiction.

Sparkling Purple Pineapple

You know those recipes that are super simple, yet create the image that you slaved away for hours? Yep, that’s exactly what this Sparkling Purple Pineapple is. We recommend making this for your next girls’ night in to be the hostess with the mostest.

Champagne Cocktail

Sometimes you just have to stick with the classics sugar, bitters, and Champagne. You really can’t go wrong.

Classic Champagne Cocktail with a Citrus Twist

Basically, if a Champagne Cocktail and Mimosa had a baby, you’d get this super refreshing Champagne Cocktail with a Citrus Twist. Step up your next at-home brunch game by serving a round (or few) of these.

Bellini

Sadly, the Bellini often falls in the shadows of its orange juice-based cousin, the Mimosa. However, the juicy sweetness of the peach purée against the acidity of the sparkling wine is just as, if not more, satisfying.

The Sparkling Cosmo

Because there’s a little Carrie Bradshaw in all of us, right? Add a little more pizzazz to your simple Cosmopolitan by splashing a little Champagne in there the tartness of both cranberry and lime juices plays gorgeously off the acidity of the sparkling wine.

French 75

When in doubt, the French 75 is always a safe bet. Simple to make, easy to drink, and all-around satisfying. A timeless classic.


The Best Bottles Of Sparkling Wine That Taste Incredible&mdashAnd Are Actually Affordable

Pro tip: Always have a bottle chilling in the fridge from impromptu celebrations.

Hip-hop and rap artists sing about it. Athletes pour it on each other after winning a game. There are paintings of women swimming (?!) in it. Champagne and other sparkling wines are celebratory drinks, sure, but not all bottles are as exclusive and unattainable as Gucci Mane and Meek Mill will have you believe. We've got proof: These bottles of bubbles are *somm's kiss* enough to have you singing. and maybe pouring on your friends. But, like, don't swim in them. That's just a waste of good booze. (Looking for something to do with the bottles other than just drinking 'em straight? We've got dozens of champagne cocktail ideas for you.)

Region: Cava, Spain

They say OutKast's song "So Fresh, So Clean" was about Cava*. This bubbly style is citrusy, mineral-laden, and bright. Much like champagne, this juice spends 24 months on its lees (spent yeast cells), giving it a brioche-y tone. It's awesome value as an alternative to champagne. (*Not true, but, like. it could be.) Also, this bottle may seem expensive, but it's actually a magnum&mdashbasically the size of two bottles.

Region: Napa Valley, CA

This bottle of Napa bubbly uses Pinot Noir grapes to give it richness and depth, while imparting notes of strawberry and raspberry to the nose, and blackberry once it hits your tongue. Sounds pretty luxurious, huh?

Region: Veneto, Italy

Prosecco wines are made in a style that produces peachy fruit-bombs. This bottle is refreshing and a touch sweet with delicate florals that balance out the green apple, peach, and lemon notes. La Marca is the only Prosecco producer from this region in Italy to be awarded a &ldquoTop 100 Wines of the Year&rdquo by Wine Spectator.

Region: Anderson Valley, CA

Louis Roederer is a 200-plus-year-old Champagne house, making it one of the most sought after in the world, *cough* Cristal *cough*. This bottle of bubbles is the first sparkling wine Roederer created in California, and it continues to showcase the finesse and depth of flavor it's famous for. Critics love it.

Region: Mendocino, CA

Louis Roederer is a Champagne house that has been established for over 200 years, making it one of the most sought after in the world&mdash *cough* Cristal. This bottle of bubbles is the first sparkling wine they created in California, and it continues to showcase the finesse and depth of flavor its famous for. Critics love it.

Region: Champagne, France

You know how in your group of friends, each one of you brings a unique element to the dynamic? Well, think of each of the three permitted grapes of Champagne as friends. Pinot noir is more dominant and probably the leader with the amount of power she brings. Pinot meunier is fresh and vibrant and is likely trying to lighten the mood. Meanwhile the elegant Chardonnay is complex AF. When they're all hanging out together in this particular bottle, they are perfectly balanced and hard to not want to be around.

Region: Napa Valley, CA

This California cutie combines the knowledge of its Champagne house, Mumm of Reims, with a style unique to the Napa Valley. All that creates a praised, value-driven sparkling wine. It's bursting with notes of strawberry blossom and crisp grapefruit that are accented with a touch of gingerbread.

Region: Asti, Italy

Mo' moscato. This sweeter, lighter style of sparkling vino is just lightly fizzy. Notes of white flowers and plump peaches invite you to drink it with a fruity dessert. Or breakfast. Wait, what?! It's so chuggable at only 5.5% abv.

Region: Champagne, France

You're sure to recognize this beloved orange label. C'mon, there are polo classics celebrating these bubbles. The bottle is a classic because of its warming aromas of vanilla, cream, and brioche that couple with fresh strawberries and poached pear.


How to Pick the Single Most Romantic Wine Ever for Your Valentine

It&aposs Valentine&aposs Day. If ever there was a day to pick the perfect wine, this is the one. So let&aposs aim high! It&aposs time to rise to the challenge, to boldly go into that cavernous wine store and select the single most romantic wine from among rows and rows of pretenders. Oh, it can be done.

And here are the four simple guidelines for choosing the best bottle of wine to share with your sweetheart. With so many options, though, you&aposll understand why rule number 1 must be.

1. Limit Your Options

Red, it&aposs where the romance is. I mean, right? Well, maybe. But it doesn&apost even matter if it&aposs true, just that you think it is. In which case, congratulations you&aposve just eliminated half the bottles in the store. (Note for white-wine lovers: This rule works the other way too.)

2. Consider Your Companion

Now let&aposs narrow the focus even more by establishing the type of person your Valentine is. Is he or she a Master of the Universe, easily impressed by lavish displays of wealth and privilege? A conspicuous consumer accepting of nothing but the very finest luxuries? Well, your little charmer will easily be made happy with a rare bottle of tremendous pedigree from a spectacular vintage with an unbelievably exciting storyline.

Now then, if you&aposve established that this is indeed the person you&aposve hitched your bright star to, ditch immediately and save yourself enormous piles of cash, not to mention headache and heartbreak. Otherwise.

3. Recall the Romance

This is where we drill down. Consider the romantic places where you&aposve passed the precious moments gazing into each other&aposs eyes and so on and so forth. If you&aposve been to wine country, to France, Italy, or Spain, to Napa, Willamette Valley, or Walla Walla, your perfect bottle is now within easy reach.

Or rely on your rich fantasy life instead. Think of places you&aposve always dreamed of visiting. A nice bottle of Bordeaux can&apost transport you to France, but after a glass or two, it can close the distance.

Also, it&aposs useful to know that at last check every state in the US was producing wine. If that romantic trip was to New Mexico, consider a bottle of Gruet sparkling wine. A weekend getaway to the Texas Hill Country? Try a Bordeaux blend from Fall Creek Vineyards, TX.

Warning: The key to success here lies in not confusing travel companions. If the question, "Remember that fantastic dinner in Charleston?" is answered with, "That wasn&apost me," you&aposre doing it wrong.

4. Make It Meaningful

It doesn&apost need to involve exotic destinations. If you can think of a particularly important dinner or otherwise meaningful time that included wine, seek out a similar wine.

Anyway, it doesn&apost need to be the exact same wine to register on the romance scale. The remembering should be enough. Even the attempt at remembering can get you there. "Remember that little cafe in [Romantic Setting] where we [something important and memorable]? Wasn&apost this the wine we were drinking? I thought it might be."

So, yes, OK, the single most romantic bottle of wine in the entire world is the one that means the most to you two lovebirds. But wait a minute. what if you don&apost have a relationship history with your Valentine yet?

Well then, you better make this meat valentine. I know it&aposs a raw deal, but try it, preferably with rosé Champagne. You&aposre going to love it. And maybe even each other, too.

Check out our collection of Valentine&aposs Day Recipes.


15 Best Valentine's Day Wines to Share with Your Sweetheart

Maybe this is the year we finally admit it: Spending Valentine's Day in is so much better than hitting the town. Making a special meal or even Valentine's Day dessert at home means you can avoid the crowds of people who behave like they've never eaten at a restaurant before, inflated prices for a so-so prix fixe menu and stressed-out wait staff, not to mention enjoy each other's company in your finest sweatpants. Plus, opening a bottle of wine at home is so much more affordable than at a restaurant or wine bar, even if you spring for something really special. We call that a win-win-win.

When it comes to pairing wine for Valentine's Day, try to match both the wine's body and flavor. Red wine generally goes best with red meat, pork and rich chocolates and cheeses, while white wine matches with more delicate fish, chicken and pasta with white sauce. But if you prefer white wine and are serving steak, an assertive Chardonnay or older Riesling will still work. Similarly, go ahead and enjoy a nice mellow Pinot Noir or other low-tannin wine with chicken or fish, too. No matter what you're serving, follow your taste buds. Even the most scientific match doesn't work if you don't care for a particular style. Cheers!

Have your cake and drink it too with Layer Cake. This medium-bodied Malbec has notes of chocolate, blackberries and cherry that pair perfectly with a nice chocolate mousse, a fruit and cheese platter, or barbecue (like they do in Argentina, where it's made).

Rosé just screams Valentine's Day and would also pair perfectly with your Galentine's Day virtual hang. This pale pink French rosé has a delicate rose, cherry, peach and strawberry taste that goes down easy. Try it with strawberries, fish or chicken dishes.


20 of The Best Romantic Cocktail Recipes and Sexy Drinks

Enjoy any of these over 20 of the Best Romantic Cocktail Recipes. This list of Valentine cocktails with sexy drinks, red cocktails, and other Valentine&rsquos day drinks that we know you will love.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase we might receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Pink hearts, red roses, and foil-wrapped chocolate! Love is in the air, and it must be Valentine&rsquos Day! Candy hearts and flower bouquets make Valentine&rsquos Day sweet, but nothing sparks romance quite like vibrantly mixed drinks popping with fruity flavors. Valentine Cocktails can either be sexy drinks or can include just about any red cocktails.

Most Valentine&rsquos day drinks can be enjoyed with your special meal or as an after-dinner toast. We have included some of the best romantic cocktail recipes, sexy drinks, and Valentine cocktails for you to choose from.

Save the bottle of wine for a weeknight dinner and mix up a drink that&rsquos easy to fall in love with. Celebrate love while sipping on one of these Valentine Red Cocktails or other sexy cocktails. Make this Valentine&rsquos Day one to remember with these 20 Valentine Cocktails that are luscious and impressive and so easy to mix.


Bubbly to begin

J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé, Russian River Valley, California, $40, J Vineyards & Winery

J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé, Russian River Valley, California, $40, J Vineyards & Winery

A pink to indulge your Valentine. As one of the country's top sparkling wine producers, J Vineyards crafts bubbly to rival the best from around the globe. Their elegant Brut Rosé from winemaker, Nicole Hitchcock, is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes from California's Russian River Valley. Vibrant and juicy, it's a pairing for spicy or salty dishes.

Mini Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Cups

Finger food is inherently romantic, and the slightly spicy and sweet notes of this recipe are sure to get your taste buds tingling. Plus, since it's served room temp, it's perfect to make ahead so you don't have to worry about being stuck in the kitchen all night.

Cleto Chiarli Brut de Noir Rosé, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, $16, Chiarli

Cleto Chiarli Brut de Noir Rosé, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, $16, Chiarli

A pretty-in-pink sparkling that's worth twice the price. Stylishly packaged with fabulous fizz inside, it's ideal to share with friends or someone special. Made by the historic house of Chiarli founded in 1860, the wine is crafted mostly from red Grasparossa grapes grown in Italy's Emilia Romagna region. Red berry succulence is complemented with crispness making it ideal to pour day or night.

Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

These blissful bites are the perfect easy, elegant and impressive appetizer. No one will suspect they only took 5 minutes to make!

TIP: For a swoon-worthy splurge, look to Rosé Champagne from France. Seek out two magnificent bottles sure to impress: From a 200-year-old, family-run house, Champagne Henriot Rosé is complex and classy. A coveted French bubbly newly introduced to the United States, Champagne Palmer & Co Rosé Réserve is sparkling seduction. Each bottle costs approximately $75.


Easy Steps to Great Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine should take nine months from start to finish, including making the base wine. There are three processing stages. Each stage has its own list of equipment and ingredients. Read the directions thoroughly before engaging in this rewarding but potentially time-con­­suming endeavor. This recipe was adapted from a sparkling wine recipe in Winemaking by Stanley and Dorothy Anderson (Harcourt Brace & Co., 1989).

Making It Sparkle

Stage One involves the reinoculation of the cuvee. In this stage you’ll be taking your base wine (the cuvee) and introducing some sugar and yeast into it. When the cuvee is cloudy with gently fermenting yeast, you’ll bottle it in Stage Two.

Bottling up the fermenting cuvee is what gives the wine its sparkle. The yeast will continue to ferment the added sugar in the sealed bottles, pro­ducing alcohol and a small amount of carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide gas will dissolve into solution and the yeast cells will die out, leaving a thick layer of lees (spent yeast cells) on the bottom of the bottles.

This thick layer is rather ugly and could cause spoilage problems or off-odors later. So in Stage Three you’ll chill the wine and decant it into another bottle to which you’ve added the dosage (a final addition of some distilled alcohol, wine conditioner, and some of the original cuvee — pronounced doe sahj’). This stage is necessary to take the sparkling wine to its long-awaited finish. By chilling the bottles in the freezer and then carefully pouring the sparkling wine off the lees into another bottle (to which you’ve added the dosage), you clarify the wine and balance its body and texture a bit so it’s ready to drink.

The wine conditioner provides the wine with a touch of sugar, but don’t be surprised if you don’t taste it in the final product. Base wine cuvees used to make sparkling wines are purposely made high in acid so the resulting sparkling wine will be as well. It’s the high acid content that makes sparkling wine so crisp and refreshing that it just sometimes takes a little extra sugar (this time we’ve used an unfermentable sugar) to balance out the final taste profile of the wine.

Stage One: Reinoculation

Equipment:
• 750-ml standard wine bottle with plastic closure (screw cap works)
• A jug of strong sanitization fluid — a strong sulfite solution (80 parts per million) works well
• Standard five-gallon glass carboy, well-sanitized
• A sanitized glass or plastic pitcher that can hold at least 3/4 of a bottle
• Small bowl or one-cup measure
• Fermentation lock half filled with a strong sulfite solution (80 ppm)
• Stirring spoon
• Siphon hose

Ingredients:

The ingredients below take 24 hours to process. You’ll need five gallons of a fined, filtered, and chillproofed white wine, at least six months old, to act as your cuvee or base wine. The wine should be sound, dry, and neutral. Sugar should be 0.00 or very close to it. The pH should be 3 to 3.4, titratable acidity should be 6.5 to 7 gram per liter, and alcohol should be 10 percent to 12 percent. A total of 750 milliliters of this will be immediately bottled and set aside for later use in stage three as part of the dosage.

Additional ingredients include:
• 13 oz. (390 g) cane sugar
• 5 tsp. yeast nutrient
• 1 cup warm (slightly above body temperature) water
• 2 packets champagne wine yeast, 5 g. each

Step by Step:
1. Siphon 750 milliliters of your cuvee into a wine bottle with the plastic closure or screw cap. Close tightly and store in your fridge for use as the dosage in stage three.
2. Siphon off 480 milliliters of your cuvee into the pitcher. Dump in the sugar and the yeast nutrient and stir until everything is dissolved.
3. Dump the yeast into the warm water. Do not stir. Let stand 10 minutes or until bubbly and active.
4. Pour the sugar and yeast nutrient mixture into your clean, sanitized carboy. Add the bubbling and active yeast.
5. Siphon the rest of your white cuvee from its carboy into the new one. When the siphon finishes, give the cuvee a good stir and attach the fermentation lock.
6. Let the newly inoculated cuvee stand in a fairly warm place (70° to 80° F) for 24 hours.

Stage Two: Bottling the Fermenting Cuvee

Equipment:
• 25 750-ml champagne bottles
• Metal crown caps (used in beer bottling)
• Crown capper (rent at your local homebrewing store)
• Bottle washer

Step by Step:
This stage takes a total of three months.
1. After a day or so, or when the cuvee is cloudy with growing yeast, get out the champagne bottles, crown caps, and the capper.
2. Give the bottles a good
washing with hot water — but don’t sulfite them! This might kill the yeast that you’re trying to grow inside the bottles.
3. Take the fermentation lock off of the carboy and give the whole thing a good stir with the long handle of the spoon.
4. Siphon the cloudy cuvee into the champagne bottles, leaving about one inch of headspace.
5. Cap the bottles with crown caps, just as you would beer bottles.
6. Store the bottles upright in a cool (65° to 75° F), out-of-the-way location for two months. Seldom-used closets work well, as do
basements and quiet corners of garages. Just make sure not to put the bottles in a place where the temperatures could get too hot.
7. Twice a week during this time, carefully invert the bottles
and shake gently. The object is to encourage the yeast inside the bottle to ferment the added sugar to completion.

A word of warning: Because there are live yeast cells eating up sugar and making carbon dioxide inside the sealed bottles, there is a lot of gas building up under pressure. Be very careful when handling the bottles. Always wear protective eye gear and gloves, and be sure to store the bottles away from inquisitive children and pets.
8. After two months, give the bottles one final shake and then let the bottles rest (standing upright) undisturbed for one month. During this time the yeast will die out and a thick layer of lees, or spent yeast hulls, will develop on the bottom of each bottle.

Stage Three: Decanting and Rebottling

Equipment:
• 25 750-ml champagne bottles
• 25 plastic champagne corks
• 25 champagne cork wires
• Lab goggles (or other OSHA safety glasses)
• Gloves (thick rubber, leather, etc.)
• Set of measuring spoons
• Enough space in your freezer and fridge to be able to hold at least five wine bottles at a time — the more you can hold, the faster this stage goes

Ingredients:
• 240 ml neutral vodka
• 360 ml wine conditioner
• 750 ml (one wine bottle full) of the cuvee (set aside at the beginning)

Step by Step:
1. Dig out the 25 champagne bottles that have been resting for a month. Stash them in your freezer, if they’ll all fit. If not, the following steps can be done in batches. These steps are written assuming that there is space for 10 wine bottles in the freezer.
2. Put five of the full champagne bottles in the freezer.
3. Use hot water to wash the 25 new champagne bottles. Again, do not sulfite them.
4. Mix a dosage by combining the vodka, wine conditioner, and cuvee (that you set aside three months ago in the fridge) in the pitcher.
5. Pour two tablespoons of the dosage mixture into five of the just-washed champagne bottles.
6. Put these five bottles in the freezer. Stand them upright next to their full counterparts.
7. When ice has just started to form on the five full cuvee bottles, take them out of the freezer, remove the cap from each one carefully in turn, and pour its contents gently into one of the bottles that contains the frozen dosage. Be careful not to pour the entire contents in you want to leave behind the gooky stuff (the lees) at the bottom of the cuvee bottle.
8. Quickly insert a plastic champagne cork and fasten with wire or, alternately, just put crown caps on the new bottles if you can’t fathom the notion of plastic champagne corks.
9. Repeat the above steps with batches of five cuvee bottles at a time.
10. When done, store the bottles upright in a cool, dry, dark place.
11. When the dosage has thawed in the bottom of the bottle, swirl the bottles gently to mix the cuvee and dosage together.
12. Store bottles in a cool, dry place, and be sure to chill each bottle thoroughly before serving.


Black Velvet

Yes, by 'stout' we mean the beer, as in Guinness or the like. If you don't think the stout-Champagne combination will work, you'll be amazed.

This is a very old drink and extremely easy to make. It's said that the Black Velvet was created to mourn Queen Victoria's husband in the mid-1800s and it is just as impressive over a century later.


Watch the video: Τελευταίο επεισόδιο Γεύσεις και Οίνος: Οι πιο δημοφιλείς ερωτήσεις για το κρασί (May 2022).