“Wine adds a smile to friendship and a spark to love” – Edmondo de Amicis
February is the month of love marked by St. Valentine’s Day. A day you can’t miss or choose to ignore, as there’s a feast for the eyes and all things ears, in everything you can think of to express love. This year, I, on purpose, decided to give a miss on the actual day and instead look at the whole month of February, which for one reason or another has slowly become dubbed, the “month of love.” If this day eluded you, put your worries aside as the month of February awaits you to celebrate love with wine.
Wine lovers, let’s confidently wear our light and hearty love mood and join other lovelies in celebrating this month of love with wine. This month’s selection will be looking at the lighter side of life with a dash of sophistication with “pink” sparkling wines, most commonly alluded to as “Champagne.” Bubbles are formed in these wines because a sure amount of carbon dioxide has been held under pressure until the bottle is burst open, allowing a spritz of bubbles to generously pour out. Not just any bubbly, but bubblies made using the Champagne method of making sparkling wine. With a variety of sparkling wines either in sweetness levels, levels of alcohol or different grape varietals, every wine lover will have a heart to heart with a sparkling wine of their choice.
This is the most methodical and famous method of making sparkling wines, which is used in the Champagne region of France and throughout the world. In South Africa, the term used for sparkling wine made using this method is Méthode Cap Classique. Although the traditional grapes in making sparkling wine are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, several other grape varietals are used today. Wine lovers, what sets apart a sparkling wine made in the traditional method from several other methods, is the skillful production and use of the second fermentation of the wine taking place in the bottle, creating the ultimate cascade of bubbles.
Let’s look at the top five producing countries in volume and in consumption, according to BK Wine Magazine publication (June 2016). According to the 2014 report by the OIV, Organisation International de la Vigne et du Vin. “Sparkling wine” includes all types of bubbly: fermented in bottle (like e.g. champagne), fermented in tank (like e.g. prosecco), and also still wine to which carbon dioxide (CO2) has been added (let’s not mention them).”
|World Sparkling Wine Production||World Sparkling Wine Consumption|
|1. France||1. Germany|
|2. Italy||2. Russia|
|3. Germany||3. United States of America|
|4. Spain||4. France|
|5. Russia||5. Italy|
Love and Wine – Sexy, Fun and Flirtatious with Pink Sparkling Wine
During the winemaking process, the brief contact with red grape skin gives the sparkling Rosé its fun and sultry pink colour. During the production process, some sparkling wines are added a “dosage” of red wine. With a mouthful of bubbles to add to the excitement, a bottle of pink bubbly wine is just what the wine doctor ordered to celebrate February, the month of love. Wine lovers, here are three sparkling wine picks to add some loving wine fun this month.
J C Le Roux La Vallee Rosé
Let this sparkling wine be your icebreaker. The young and fresh love between the two of you will definitely find a mutual glass of demi-sec sparkling wine fruity and delicious. This is the wine to fulfill those young dreams of an exciting romance. A kiss between each sip will seal your Rosé fate. This fruit bowl of fresh ripe fruit will grow your love this month. Sometimes, some sips just have to be affectionate.
Graham Beck Brut Rosé
Everybody dreams and a pink sip beautifully brings back a moment of intimacy and “sparkle.” Like summer berries and a dry fresh breeze, memorable years are blended in a bottle shared. Its charming dry palate gives this sparkling wine an attractive gracefulness that will consume you in your tête-à-tête of future Februaries. Bring the month of February to life with a Graham Beck Brut Rosé and allow it to burst your mutual love bubble.
Pongrácz Rosé NV
As you sit back and count those gracious years, filled with ups and downs, this dry non-vintage bottle of pink bubbles will whisk you away into the month of love and beyond. With a few awards against its name, this unapologetically fruit-filled sparkling wine, with a serenade of seductive flavours and lively mouth feel, will bring about that wanted closeness for Him and Her. It will definitely allow you to mull over how all those Februaries have been worth it.
Wine lovers, whether it’s to “…add friendship…” new love, mature love, memorable love or a ”…spark to love,” allow pink sparkling wine to whisk you away during this month of love. Fill your glass with love and wine and see, swirl, and sip with Him or Her. Can we all be romantics? Yes, with a glass of wine, of course. Until next month, keep sipping the bubbles and keep the love fizz alive.
Please note: This article first appeared in The Lifestyle Magazine of The Standard Newspaper.