Check the price of Champagne. Even the lowest-level brands are
Now look at our three recommendations for rose sparkling wine (once called “pink Champagne):
The first is $13.99; the latter are in the $18.99 range. Why is this a bargain?
These are sweeter styles, perfect to enjoy as an aperitif, with chocolates or desserts, even at breakfast. Some of our favorite pairings:
Martini Sparkling Rosé (photo #1—the brand was formerly called Martini & Rossi) is an Italian sparkler made from a blend of brachetto, malvasia and moscato bianco grapes from Northern Italy.
The nose is delightful, a blend strawberry, rose and tropical fruit aromas.
The wine is medium-dry, the palate is slightly sweet with ripe berry and peach flavors. The alcohol level is 9.5%.
This wine also pairs well with seafood, and with cold meats and with creamy cheeses (although we love it with fresh goat cheese, too).
And of course, serve it with fruit—especially with stone fruits like apricots and peaches, or a stone fruit salad with a dab of crème fraîche or mascarpone.
You can serve it with light lunches and take it on picnics.
This delightfully spritzy, full-bodied sparkling wine (photo #2) is cranberry-red in color. The aroma (bouquet, nose) has hints of raspberries and strawberries plus rose petals. What could be more perfect for Valentine’s Day?
On the palate you’ll taste fresh raspberries. The crisp acidity enables it to pair with the richest desserts, and the elegance makes it a good date for a plate of fine cheeses.
It also pairs well with seafood and spicy fare.
Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui gets its name because it’s 100% brachetto, a red wine grape; and the grapes are grownin vineyard located outside the town of Acqui in the Piedmont region of Italy.
It has the lowest alcohol of the three, at 7.3%: You can drink more without losing the passion.
Speaking of which, Brachetto has a legend: that both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony sent Brachetto wine as gifts to Cleopatra. Some suggest that Cleopatra fell in love with Caesar over her first sip of Brachetto (the still wine, since sparkling wine had not yet been invented).
 Martini Sparkling Rosé, pretty in pink.  Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui, the color of red roses.  Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé, another fine pink-hued sparkler. All three bubblies are from northern Italy.
In turn, the queen had her lovers drink the wine to unleash their passion. Hence, Rosa Regale, which means royal passion.
You can shop around for the best price. In our area, we can find a 750ml bottle for around $18.99. But don’t worry about spending a few dollars more: It’s worth it.
This Prosecco (photo #3) is from the Santa Margherita Winery in Trentino-Alto Adige, a hilly area in the province of Treviso, bordering Switzerland and Austria to the north.
It’s a blend of glera (the process grape), chardonnay and malbec, which provides some of the pink hue.
The aroma is floral, with what wine insiders call white fruits, plus delicate hints of red berry fruits (strawberries, raspberries).
The flavor is delicate but vibrant, remaining on the palate (a.k.a. long finish). The alcohol level is 12%.
For food pairings beyond sweets, look to Italian appetizers, seafood dishes, spicy foods, and the exotic seasonings of Asian cuisines.
You may find it for $18.99, but we had no complaints paying $21.99 for our bottle.
Don’t lay them down, don’t look for older vintages. Drink ‘em if you got ‘em.
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