VALENTINE’S Day is the perfect evening to call on cupid and impress your loved one with a glass of something pretty special.
With the surge in popularity of sparkling and still rose, there’s plenty of temptation to thrill the tastebuds, and pull at the heart strings.
For the colour of rose petals, try Villa Borgo Sparkling Pinot Grigio Blush (£4.99, Aldi). This cheeky off-dry tutti-fruity from Veneto makes a delicious aperitif with spicy nibbles, or moreish prawn crackers.
For something irresistible from sunny New Zealand, try Bluff Hill Rose NV (£7.99 from £9.99, M&S until February 27).
A blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, these delightful bubbles are scented with wild strawberries – rich pickings at under a tenner.
Savvy shoppers who want to serenade their darling with the closest thing to champagne should try this French fancy, Roche Lacour Rose 2008, Cremant de Limoux (£10.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk).
Not only will the glamorous bottle impress, but this elegant raspberry pink bubbly is rich with berry fruits. It’s a treat on its own, or with smoked salmon blinis and seafood.
Couples with a taste for the classic aphrodisiac, oysters and champagne, should treat themselves to a bottle of Thienot Brut Rose (£36.99, www.drinkfinder.co.uk).
A traditional blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, it’s sophisticated, weighty, with hints of morello cherries on the long, heavenly finish. It’s a brilliant food champagne.
For Veuve fans drawn to the iconic Brut Yellow Label, why not try its less mainstream offering, Veuve Cliquot Rose NV (£40.99, Sainsbury’s)? Pinot Noir dominant with delicate sweet nuances, it’s classy and complex, with a satisfyingly fruity finish.
Fashionable and the wine of the moment, even rose sceptics can’t help but fall in love with Bollinger Rose NV (£45, Waitrose).
My favourite rose champagne, it’s been hailed by the critics as one of the finest in the world. Another pinot noir dominant beauty, it’s rich and toasty with luscious raspberry fruit and a fine, creamy mousse.
After a couple of glasses of sparkle, a rose wine tailored to the charms of a tasting plate with goodies such as Spanish cured meats, mezze or antipasti can be more amorous than a stiff, candlelit dinner. Try Louis Jadot Beaujolais Rose 2010 (£8.99, Tesco) made from 100% gamay, it’s deliciously fresh and fruity on the palate.
Or for a fuller bodied rose, pop the cork on a bottle of Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Rose 2010 (£8.99, Waitrose). An interesting blend of sauvignon blanc, riesling and chardonnay, topped up with malbec, this vibrant pink is bursting with summer fruits and tastes wonderful with smoked salmon and cream cheese.