February brings us Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year! Hearts, chocolates, flowers, and images of Cupid come to mind when I think of this special day for lovers. But don’t forget sparkling wines. So, whether you’re planning to celebrate with a romantic dinner at home or a picnic lunch, be sure to add a bottle of bubbles to the celebration.
Sparkling wine pairs well with food and adds a special touch to any occasion. And to make it easy for those who aren’t sure which sparkling to choose, here are six of my favorites:
Treveri Cellars Blanc de Blanc
Treveri Cellars is a winery in Yakima, Washington, that only makes sparkling wine. From a Blanc de Blanc to their ruby-colored Sparkling Syrah Brut, Treveri makes something to match everyone’s palate. And although there is a wide variety to choose from, my favorite remains the Blanc de Blanc. It’s the sparkling wine that launched Treveri in 2010 and remains one of its most popular. This perennial crowd-pleaser offers hints of green apple and brioche followed with zesty notes on a creamy finish. At $15 the Blanc de Blanc provides good value with excellent taste.
La Crema Sparkling Brut Rosé
La Crema Winery on the Saralee Estate in lovely Sonoma County remains one of my favorite wineries. (Full disclosure: I love it so much that I’m a loyal wine club member.)
The winery specializes in Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs made from grapes as far north as the Willamette Valley in Oregon to the Russian River Valley and as far south as the Santa Rita Hills. The best grapes come from the Russian River Valley and those grown right there on the Saralee Estate. So, it’s fitting the Sparkling Brut Rosé, made with fruit from the estate, is exceptional.
Its lovely pink color says “love.” Aromas of crisp apple and white flowers lead to fresh strawberry and lemon meringue flavors with a lingering finish—$ 45 retail.
Pine Ridge Vineyards Sparkling Chenin Blanc and Viognier
Pine Ridge Vineyards in the Stags Leap District offers one of Napa Valley’s most stunning views. Tucked beneath a ridge of pines overlooking terraced hillsides lined with grapevines, a wine lover could spend hours here mesmerized by the eye-pleasing surroundings.
Pine Ridge produces the luscious Cabernet Sauvignon that Napa is well-known for, along with a variety of other classic reds and whites. But it’s their Chenin Blanc and Viognier Sparkling wine that caught my attention. An unusual and delectable blend, this vivacious, aromatic wine displays a bouquet of green apple, honeydew melon, and ripe pear. The wine’s fine bubbles elevate lemon, lime, and lychee flavors. Its acidity is well-balanced. At just $18, this sparkling is a bargain for a Napa Valley wine.
Gruet Sauvage NV Brut Rosé
The Gruet Winery of New Mexico makes award-winning sparkling wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. It was started in 1984 by a French winemaker, Gilbert Gruet, who saw the potential of New Mexico soil and climate. Today Gruet Winery produces some of the finest sparkling wines in the country. While it’s hard to choose from their wide array of sparkling wines, the Sauvage NV Brut Rosé provides the perfect fit for a Valentine’s date. Garnet in color, its aromas include white flowers and wild strawberry. It maintains a zesty acidity and delicate finish, and at $17, it provides a good value with French roots.
Chandon is not just a popular Napa Valley winery. They maintain a winery in Australia’s bucolic Yarra Valley and another winery in Argentina’s Mendoza wine region. A visit to any one of them will provide visitors with an exceptional experience.
Known best for their sparkling wines, Chandon also produces a wide variety to choose from. My favorite remains the classic Chandon Brut. A double gold medal winner in the 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition, this wine is a classic expression of Chandon’s California vineyards. Notes of green apple, pear, and citrus are followed by a soft, dry finish. Easily available at Total Wine or your local grocery store, this wine retails for around $17.
Chamisal Vineyards NV Estate Sparkling
And last but not least is Chamisal Vineyards ’NV Estate Sparkling wine. The winery is located in Edna Valley, a lesser-known wine region in San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast. People are more familiar with its more famous cousin, the Paso Robles wine region, to the north. But Edna Valley is well worth a side trip for those seeking a slower pace and authentic wine tasting experience. And Chamisal Vineyards offers just that. Its spacious, elegant outdoor seating provides guests with gorgeous views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains.
Known for their luscious Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, Chamisal recently introduced its NV Estate Sparkling wine. It’s a blend of Chardonnay (57%) and Pinot Noir (43%). Sourced 100% from Chamisal’s estate, the wine features notes of honey, white flowers, apples, and citrus zest. The wine is fresh and bright with layers of pear and biscuit notes. Its minerality in the finish reflects the calcareous soils found on Chamisal’s estate. The winery likes to say their soils are not too dissimilar to the limestone and chalk soils found in Champagne. Taste for yourself and see if you agree. Either way, this sparkling wine is delightful and well worth the $65 price tag.
Happy Valentine’s Day
So, all you hopeless romantics, I hope I’ve whet your appetite for bubbly on Valentine’s Day. I know I can’t wait to hear that cork pop and share a delicious glass of bubbles with my sweetie. Happy Valentine’s Day!