Champagne, Italian reds add sparkle to Valentine's Day

Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:10am EST
 
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By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Along with chocolate and roses, Champagne is a staple for many couples on Valentine's Day but wine experts say sweet reds and Italian sparklers are also good choices to spark romance.

Like the late French fashion designer Coco Chanel, who famously said she only drank Champagne on two occasions - when she was in love and when she was not - wine writer Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan said Champagne is always a top selection for Cupid's big day.

"It's a very safe call," the author of “The One Minute Wine Master: Discover 10 Wines You’ll Like in 60 Seconds or Less,” said in an interview.

Many non-vintage rosé Champagnes cost between $45 and $85 a bottle, although some sell for $150. For the more adventurous who want to make an impression on their Valentine, Simonetti-Bryan suggested Brachetto d'Acqui, a beverage popular in ancient Roman times.

"If you want a story to go along with that wine on Valentine’s Day, then you want Brachetto d’Acqui,” she said.

Legend has it that Julius Caesar and Mark Antony gave Cleopatra wineskins and jars filled with the sweet and, at that time, frothy red wine that was thought to be an aphrodisiac.

Today’s Brachetto d’Acqui is not as bubbly, but sweeter and more effervescent, according to Simonetti-Bryan, who recommends serving the wine that sells for $12 to $15 a bottle with raspberries or chocolate-covered strawberries.

Pink Moscato is another slightly more affordable choice, she said.   Continued...

 
A platter of fruit and a bottle of Champagne is seen set up on a table by the beach of the Olympia Riviera resort in the town of Kyllini, some 285 kms southwest of Athens in this file photo taken on May 31, 2012.  REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis