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:
French toast with strawberries and cassis syrup
Bread pudding with chocolate chunks (or chocolate bread pudding)
Strawberries in balsamic vinegar
Chocolate cake, candy pie, pudding
Perpetual crowd pleasers, these wines should be served chilled (as with all bubblies).
MARTINI: SPARKLING ROSÉ
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.
BANFI: ROSA REGALE BRACHETTO D’ACQUI
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).