Valentine’s is the perfect, romantic occasion to crack open an elegant, sparkling rosé. We reviewed 150 for our recent Report # 40 on Rosé Champagne and Sparkling Wines. Drawing on those reviews, we present our recommendations for those celebrating Valentine’s Day, starting with the top 1%.
The Top 1%: You have no budget constraint, so go for the very best irrespective of price. We suggest either the Ruinart 1998 Dom Ruinart Rosé Champagne ($300, 96 points) or the Veuve Clicquot 2004 Grande Dame Brut Rosé ($225, 95 points)
The Middle Class: You have a lot of demand’s on your family budget, but don’t worry. There’s plenty of delicious sparkling rosés out there for $20 or less. We recommend either the Graham Beck 2009 Brut Rosé ($20, 91 points) from South Africa’s Western Cape or the Scharffenbeger NV Brut Rosé ($18, 90 points) from Mendocino County.
Latin Flair: We just returned from Verona, home to Romeo and Juliet, perhaps the world’s most famous lovers. If you insist on a sparkler with Latin flair, we suggest either the Bellavista 2007 Gran Cuvée ($50, 93 points) from Italy’s Franciacorta region or the Ferrari 2006 Perlé Rosé ($75, 92 points) from Trento. Both offer the quality of a very good Champagne.
Cost-Effective Romance: Whether you’re an accountant, stock broker, or just a subscriber to Consumer Reports, you want value for price even on Valentine’s Day. Fortunately there are great value sparklers at every price level. At the higher end, we would recommend a grower Champagne like the Gonet-Médeville NV Rosé Extra Brut 1er Cru (just $50 for a 92 point wine) or the Pascal Doquet NV Premiers Cru Côtes de Blancs Rosé ($66, 93 points). If your budget is more constrained, we suggest going with a crémant like the Willm NV Brut Rosé Crémant d’Alsace ($15, 90 points) or a cava like the Avinyo NV Rosat Reserva Cava ($25, 91 points). Just don’t tell your partner what you paid.
Buy American: You prefer to buy American, perhaps because you like the sweeter character of many California rosés. Fortunately, there are numerous great choices. We suggest either the Schramsberg 2009 Brut Rosé ($43, 92 points) or the Roederer Estate NV Brut Rosé ($28, 91 points). You won’t go wrong with either one. And, if for some reason you prefer an East Coast wine, we would recommend either the Chateau Frank 2007 Blanc de Noir ($30, 90+ points) from the Finger Lakes or the Trump Winery 2008 SP Rosé ($29, 91 points) from Virginia. Just don’t tell the Donald how little you paid.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler