By Rick Riozza

Every year at this time we ask–What Would St. Valentine Drink?  And the answer remains the same with that incurable romantic, putting together some kind of love potion that includes the likes of roses, kisses, candy, bubbles, passion, and pop!  So, voila!!  Sparkling rosé wine!

And this year, Valentines lasts the entire weekend! What a lovely notion!

So what wine lover doesn’t readily admit that a Rosé Sparkler in a wine glass or flute is definitely the most alluring vino to behold. The wine’s sexy shades range from warm copper to almost a pale rouge, through a muted salmon-orange, to a pearlescent pink. Not only is love in the air—it’s in the bubbly and beating warm through our hearts.

Oh—of course, there are so many other great wines to experience and a great wine choice is as easy as it always is: Simply serve the wine you like the best! And if you need some suggestions for a wine that exclaims “I love you,” check out these options that can complete the Valentine’s Day picture in a big way.

Je T’aime Brut Rosé $20.00.

As a romantic gift, there is no more direct way to say “I Love You”—as the label says in French. This sparkler has Valentines written all over it! It has a beautiful classic old style French labeland a very classy looking bottle. Definitely a bold move to present on a first date, but unquestionably the wine to bring when you want to seal the deal and let the whole world know you’re in love!

Je T’aime is a beautifully salmon pink Brut Rosé that is very lively with a great surge of bubbles. Look for the very appealing floral notes on the nose and a real focus of aromas. A stylish bouquet of fresh strawberry and raspberry enthralls one’s senses and the bright fresh fruit flavors persist on the palate with a yeasty flavor that is crisp, balanced and graceful. It doesn’t overpower your palate with sweetness.

The Brut Rosé receives its delicate color from the Pinot Noir grape which is in the blend. Je T’aime has a very crisp lingering finish that will tempt you to take another sip!

I would suggest pairing Je T’aime with scallops and or soft cheeses but the wine is very versatile so don’t hesitate to enjoy it with your favorite Valentine meal selections.

Megawine Inc. 818.781.9686

Le Grand Courtâge Rosé Brut $20.00

The name of this wine can translate to “the great courtship” and sounds like the perfect sparkler for the engaged couple—or, engaging personalities!

A few years ago, Tawnya Falkner took the leap and gave up her career as a designer/developer in San Francisco to move to Burgundy, France to follow her passion relating to travel, food & making wine.   The result is Le Grand Courtâge, a new gold-medal winning French sparkling wine.

She created an elegant and eye-catching packaging and positioned the product so its visual identity conveys the perception of luxury at an exceptional value.

This rosé sparkler has fresh and fruity aromas of young strawberry, raspberry and notes of lilac and violets. It has a deliciously seductive flavor profile. Smooth and versatile, it’s a perfect balance of freshness, fruit, acidity and sweetness. A courtship of delicate flavors, red fruit aromas and baby bubbles.

The exciting blend is a Chardonnay that provides a depth and structure to the wine, while the Ugni Blanc offers a natural acidity and freshness. The light bodied Gamay provides vibrant youthful fruit expressions reminiscent of wild berries and flowers amongst the French countryside on a warm summer day.

Le Grand Courtâge has a less dry, yeasty, acidic profile than traditional champagne which can be heavier on the palate. Courtâge’s unique profile, with its dry, crisp, yet light and fruit forward character, creates for a “balanced”, cuisine and cocktail-friendly wine which is enormously versatile.

The rosé complements an array of foods. Try it with spicy Asian dishes, risotto, BBQ, beef, lamb, duck, game, chicken, prosciutto, seafood, pizza or soft cheese (like brie or goat)

Mosaic Wine Alliance 760-322-0905

Rosa Regale Sparkling Red$18.99

Rosa Regale, imported from Italy, is a lightly sweet sparkling wine with a vibrant ruby color that plays on the Italian romantic theme. With its penetrating floral fragrance and sweet, vivacious raspberry flavors, it is a great aperitif for almost any occasion and is good with dessert, too, since it pairs well with Valentines chocolate.

Its effervescence is softer than that of champagne and has a delicate bouquet of rose petals and offers sensuous flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries—emphasis on the sensuous! This has always been a fun sparkler—delightfully vivacious and festive. Now this is the bottle to share on the couple’s first Valentine date. It’s very fun—nothing too serious.

While it is appreciated as one of the few wines in the world that truly marries well with chocolate, especially dark or bittersweet, its charms extend across a palette of occasions and food pairings, from savory to sweet. On its own, Rosa Regale is an elegant aperitif. Its fruity character beguiles strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, truffles and hazelnut tortes as they are elevated by this frothy wine.

Total Wine & More, Palm Desert 760.346.202

And for you romantics who wish to enjoy great wine paired with delicious meals, look into:

Catalan Mediterranean: 70026 HWY 111, Rancho Mirage, 92270 760.770.9570

Bellatrix Restaurant 75-200 Classic Club Blvd, Palm Desert, 92211 (760) 601-3690

BluEmber Restaurant, Las Palmas Resort, 41000 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage 92270 (760) 862-4581

And that’s the heart of the matter!  Here’s to love.  Cheers!