Wonderful wines to romance your love this Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air! In his column on high street wines, SO Drinks Editor James Viner finds eight bewitching bottles to fall in love with on Valentine’s Day – next Wednesday February 14. This year he’s rounded up a ravishing still rosé, five alluring (perforce, mainly pink) sparkling wines and two seductive sweet ones that are certain to put you in an amorous mood but also work well as brilliant, heart-warming vinous gifts…

Whether you’re planning to treat your loved one by celebrating at home with a loving dinner à deux or having friends over for drinks and a bite to eat, make it one to remember with something delightful. Capture your Valentine’s heart with these eight tempting, Cupid-approved bottles.

1. Marisco Vineyards, The Ned Rosé 2021, Marlborough, New Zealand (£9.99-11.50, Majestic mix 6 & Ocado)

Superstar winemaker Brent Marris and his team continue to labour lovingly on the Waihopai Vineyards in the Southern Vineyards subregion of Marlborough to produce this UK pink vinous darling, a lively blend of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. From the bestselling wine range named after the 909m high peak towering above Blenheim, the largest settlement in Marlborough, it’s a juicy pink wine that delivers oodles of wild strawberries, peaches and watermelon. Perfect with chicken Caesar salad, sashimi, grilled fish and oysters. Try it! It’ll be love at first sip.

2. Graham Beck Brut ‘Méthode Cap Classique’ Rosé, Western Cape, South Africa (£11.99 mix 6, Majestic)

Nothing says romance in a glass better than pink bubbly (which doesn’t have to be champagne). Indeed, few wines are more redolent of Valentine’s Day than pink fizz. Here’s a beautiful, crowd-pleasing South African sparkling rosé – a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – from a tiptop MCC (EU-friendly name for bottle-fermented bubbly, aka ‘méthode cap classique’) house, combining crushed red berry fruit, lemon meringue pie and oyster shell with a touch of brioche. The finish tears away and all that’s left is an unfilled glass. Tremendous value here.

3. Cave de Turckheim Crémant d’Alsace Cuvée Brut NV, France (£13.99, Waitrose)

French crémant, made by the same method as champagne, is the eagle-eyed, amorous budget lover’s choice. Made fizzy by the painstaking, meticulous traditional method from a canny blend of 80% Pinot Blanc and 20% Pinot Gris (with at least 18 months of lees ageing) this has a satisfying mouthfeel and weight. It overflows with elegant, green apple and gentle spicy pizazz – your valentine will think you have paid way more than a tenner for it! Just the job, great value and refreshing, even if not amazingly complex. Classy crémant, fit for a starry-eyed celebration.

4. Co-op Irresistible Eight Acres Sparkling Rosé NV, Hush Heath Estate, Kent, England (£18, Co-op)

From a pretty corner of the Garden of England (it’s made by Hush Heath Estate’s Balfour winery in Staplehurst, Kent), this cracking Co-op own-label English rosé delivers sweet, red summer berry and hedgerow fruit, plus a long, citrusy finish. All the boxes have been ticked for a head-turning, bargainous, dry rosé aperitif sparkler at a good price. A treat with pan-fried Dover sole and sushi.

5. Champagne Veuve Devanlay NV Rosé, France, (£23, Morrisons)

Turn up the romance with Morrisons’ quite stellar, and keenly priced, own-label pink aperitif champagne. It’s a satisfying drink — especially for the money — expect red cherry, gentle apricot and strawberry mousse flavours but a dry finish. One for seafood and canapés. Difficult to resist sipping another glass… It’s a special occasion, so don’t. À votre santé!

6. Champagne Piaff Rosé Brut NV, France (£51-50-£52, Amathus, House of Malt & Master of Malt)

Skip the flowers that soon wilt or a lavish night on the town this Valentine’s Day – choose a brilliant bottle of rosé champagne instead! This one should win a few hearts since fifth-generation, consummate winemaker Maxime Mansard has crafted a wonderfully harmonious, substantial and weighty pink champagne with plenty of flavours (think fresh pastry, redcurrants, cherries, strawberries and light sea spray notes).

With its opulent palate, this resplendent rosé is the perfect champagne treat to enjoy throughout a Valentine’s Day dinner. New to me until last month, extremely sophisticated and gastronomic. An expansive and adorable wine. Miss this and you’ll miss out.

A personalised engraving is available through champagnepiaff.com with direct shipping to the UK.

Got a sweet tooth? Try these dessert wines with chocolate:

7. Andrew Quady Essensia Orange Muscat 2021, California (£12.99 mix 6, Majestic, 37.5cl)

Melt their heart with this sweet, intense and juicy half-bottle. It’s a floral and citrusy West Coast winner with orange desserts and chocolates.

8. Royal Tokaji Blue Label Aszú 5 Puttonyos Tokaji, Hungary (£14.99, Waitrose, 25cl)

For a wonderful treat and a heavenly match with a box of mixed chocolate, both plain and milk (or apple pie/bread and butter pudding), nab this flavoursome golden-hued bottle of Hungarian Tokaji Aszú made from hand-selected, botrytized, shrivelled, grapes.

Think stone fruits, citrus, marmalade and beeswax. Thrillingly good and the sweetest way to say ‘I love you.’

Follow James on Instagram @QuixoticWines

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