The week leading up to Feb. 14 is the fourth-largest period for sales of sparkling wine in the United States, after New Year’s, Christmas and Thanksgiving, according the Nielsen Co.
If you celebrate Valentine’s Day, and you do it with bubbly and chocolate, here’s one caveat: Sure, both sparkling wine and chocolate are associated with romance and with celebrations, but the sweetness in chocolate will tend to make sparkling wines, at least dry sparklers, seem especially bitter. Nothing will kill a moment more than sipping wine that suddenly tastes off or overly acidic. So, opt for sweeter sparkling wines or, better yet, skip the chocolate.
Here are four to consider. Each should be served chilled.
Bartenura, Limited Edition, Demi-Sec (Non-Vintage), Italy ($24; mevushal): Presented in a couture-style gift bag, this new semi-sweet Italian sparkler is very light and easy with peach and melon aromas and pear and citrus-like flavors, with just enough acidity and bubbles to keep it fresh and fun.
Koenig, Crémant d’Alsace (Nonvintage), France ($30; mevushal): Charming and delicious, this Alsatian sparkler is clean and brisk with aromas and flavors of citrus, apple, melon and white peach, with fine, creamy and assertive bubbles that tingle the senses and drive home a lemony goodness.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Chardonnay, 2009 ($35): With delicate but enticing aromas and flavors of toasted brioche, baked apple, citrus zest and tropical fruits, this is crisp, brisk, effervescent, balanced and refreshing.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden Rosé, Brut, 2011 ($40): a delightful blend of 70 percent chardonnay and 30 percent pinot noir, this lightly pinkish beauty offers aromas of citrus, strawberries, stone fruits and brioche, all draped in flowers. The bubbles are nicely sharp and concentrated, and the acidity is zippy and zingy.
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