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Holiday,Wine

Sparkling Wine Recommendations for Your Valentine Moments

There are two ways that I go on Valentine’s day…

Either a wine from my PS I Love You group, or a sparkling wine…

Sorry, but the PS Love name says it all. A big red for your heart’s health, and someone you care deeply about for sharing it, just makes a lot of sense to me… But the brand has to be a member of PS I Love You – for me – because the members have cared enough to help support the hard work behind the variety. So, my choice of Petite Sirah is truly a personal one.

You may even have your own story of the wines you love, and why you love them. That would make your decisions spot-on, too, for this day of focused love.

My other decision for sparkling wines is based on the fact that they’re a great way to begin a long, lingering meal over candle light with someone you adore.

Today’s blog is about some of my recent bubbly experiences, all of which I highly recommend. A recent visit to Schramsberg and visiting with  Matthew Levy – which I’ll be writing about at great length shortly – is how I’m going to begin, because the experience is very fresh in my memory.

Schramsberg Reserve 2001, $100

This is the one with which to celebrate, after you’ve given her the engagement ring… Or, a perfect anniversary one, especially if you’re celebrating 10 or more years this year . The Schramsberg Reserve is their top Pinot Noir-focused brut sparkling wine. It typically represents about only three percent of their annual production. It’s a richly-flavored and full-bodied sparkler, made from only their finest base-wine lots, that are produced each year. It is six years old when it’s released. With this age in the bottle, it typically becomes fruity, crisply dry, with toasty notes, and smoothly creamy. This sparkling wine will age gracefully. The winery gives it a good 20 years beyond the vintage date, which also makes it a great anniversary wine. Imagine buying two of these wines… one for the engagement, the other for 15 years later!

2001 J Vintage Brut – Extended Triage Release, $50

Both bubblies were delivered to me during the holidays by my colleague/friend, George Rose, who is the new PR Person at J Wine Company. George has this new gig, and he began by celebrating and sharing the joy.

The 2001 J Brut experienced an extended triage* bottling. On the nose, this wine has lovely aromas of citrus, pear, and is slightly floral. It also has a yeasty aroma, reminding me of both brioche cheese and my bread making days, when the house was filled with these soft distinctive scents. Toasted almond gives the fruit a beautiful balance. On the palate, pear and citrus notes continue through, joined by hints of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. The small bubbles, along with the more complex toasty aromas and flavors, gives this bubbly a rich, creaminess texture and a soft, spicy lingering finish. Great as an apéritif, and it will also pair well with a french onion soup, dripping with Swiss cheese.

*TRIAGE: Wine makers add a little bit of sugar and yeast to their wine in making bubbly. They then cap the bottle, so the CO2 can’t escape when bottling their champagnes. By law, the wine must sit like this for at least three and a half years to be legally called “en triage.” The wine rests on its side with the yeast and sugar in the bottle, while the yeast is eating the sugar. This continues to produce CO2 and alcohol. Because the bottle is capped (the cap looks like a soda or beer bottle cap), the CO2 can’t escape, so it becomes part of the wine.

J Brut Rosé NV, $35

This lovely, shimmering, cool pink wine comes from J’s Russian River Valley estates. This region is a cool climate area of the Russian River Valley, and produces some of this area’s finest fruit. This bubbly has round, fresh fruit characters of golden delicious apples, which blends effortlessly with Myer lemon, and white grapefruit zest. It has a gentle acidity that carries over into the refreshingly long and lingering finish. Just a touch of toast makes this a wonderful bubbly for romance and white chocolate hearts.

2005 Gloria Ferrer 2005 Brut Rosé,$42

This wine was delivered to me during the holidays, by my friends at Wine & Jazz Magazine ~ A little pink is always a good thing on my palate. I love bubblies that originate from a red variety… like a Pinot Noir. The beautiful salmon color of this sparkling wine, and the brilliant fruit character that has a great versatility in pairing with food, is its greatest feature.

This rosé has aromas of fresh, ripe strawberries and rose petals. It reminds me of allt he things I love about spring. On the palate, I’ve found a creamy texture that has that fresh rising bread dough aroma that translate into one’s taste buds. I also love the lemony flavors of its bright acidity, and enjoy the subtle rose petal finish.

May you share lots of love on this Valentine weekend!

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2 Responses to “Sparkling Wine Recommendations for Your Valentine Moments”

  1. Petals says:

    This story is making me thirsty!

  2. Jo says:

    Petals, your Website is making me want to wrap myself in your offerings!

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