Drink Pink

Ten reasons to reach for rosé (and red) bubbles this Valentine’s Day.

On Valentine’s Day, why not look at the world through rosé-colored flutes? Pink bubbly is fun, flirty and fabulous. It also happens to pair perfectly with many of the foods we nibble on Valentine’s Day. Not to mention red sparklers, which can take you through a romantic meal all the way to its sweet ending. Let the love flow!

1. Pink and red bubbly turn up the romance. Like an aromatic bouquet of freshly cut roses, coupes filled with color add more l’amour to any rendezvous.

2. They are oh so sippable alongside Valentine’s Day menu options like roasted salmon, lobster, duck breast or tuna tartare. Moët & Chandon representative Julia Fitzroy explains that since rosé sparkling wines like their Rosé Impérial Champagne get their glowing pink color from Pinot Noir grapes, they have a bigger, fuller flavor that can stand up to a variety of dishes far better than austere Blanc de Blancs.

3. They add a touch of summer to a cold February night. The addition of red grapes in the blend make rosé sparklers burst with ripe strawberry flavors, keeping each sip fresh and mouthwatering.

4. Most rosé sparkling wines aren’t sweet like other pink wines. In fact, they actually have way more in common with dry rosés than they do with White Zinfandel. So if you’ve been ignoring them on store shelves, they’re definitely worth another look.

5. Pink bubbly is fantastic in sparkling wine cocktails. It’s already got gorgeous color going for it, and happens to mix well with berries, tropical fruits and citrus.

6. …Especially truly elegant creations. Take a cue from Jill Zimorski, Beverage Director for José Andrés’ Think Food Group in Washington, DC. She drops a small amount of edible gold or silver powder into a flute, and tops it with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur and sparkling wine. The bubbles push the powder through the wine, resulting in a beautiful, entrancing cocktail.

7. Italian sweet red bubbly Brachetto is sublime with dessert. According to Cinzano winemaker Andrea Capussotti, Brachetto’s delicate sweetness, vibrant berry flavor and underlying cocoa are dreamy with dark chocolate as well as fruit-based desserts and pastries.

8. …while Australia’s fizzy take on Shiraz can even hold its own next to filet mignon. If you love the spicy berries in the signature grape from Down Under, try the effervescent version. Tastes just like the original, only tricked out with bubbles. So unexpectedly delectable!

9. The first Champagnes produced were pink. Though most people don’t realize it, slow production techniques back when Champagne was first produced led to a touch of red from the skins seeping into the still wines before the secondary fermentation. So when you drink pink, you’re indulging in a true original.

10. Pink bubbly is just plain sexy. “It’s like a sports bra versus a lacy push-up; they both achieve the same purpose, but one is definitely sexier than the other,” explains Zimorski. “The addition of red wine into the blend makes for a rounder, fruitier wine—a more voluptuous wine. It’s sexy.”

Sparkling Rosé Cocktails for V-Day


Crimson & Clover
From the book, “101 Champagne Cocktails” by Kim Haasarud

6 raspberries (or 2 medium-sized strawberries, hulled)
1 oz. simple syrup
4-5 mint leaves
Moët & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne, or another rosé sparkling wine

In a mixing glass, muddle the raspberries (or strawberries) with the simple syrup and mint leaves. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a Champagne flute and top with the Champagne or sparkling wine.

Courtesy of Kelly Magyarics

3 lemon verbena leaves
1 sugar cube
Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters
Rosé Champagne or sparkling wine
Lemon twist, for garnish

Smack lemon verbena between the palm to release the oils, and then place in a flute. Add sugar cube, and soak with lemon bitters. Slowly fill flute with rosé Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.


Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or at www.twitter.com/kmagyarics.



Published on January 29, 2010