Call them Barbie wines if you want. I, for one, am not embarrassed about
my penchant for pink, something that shows up from time to time in my clothing,
home décor (yes, I MEANT to buy that toaster in pink) and, happily, even
in my wines.
In fact, one of the reasons I love Valentine’s Day so much is that it’s
the only day of the year when you can drink pink without anyone looking
at you as though you might as well be swilling a cosmo or, worse, a wine
Long considered the stuff of unsophisticated winos (we can thank a couple
of guys known as Bartles & Jaymes for that), pink wines – especially
the lively sparkling versions – are the unsung heroes of the wine world.
Destined to live forever in the shadow of their better-known peers, whites
and reds, pink wines bide their time each year until V Day rolls around.
When it does, like a butterfly from a cocoon (or TomKat’s baby after months
of seclusion) they emerge to show their true colors, in doing so delighting
amorous revelers across the land with their subtle charms and versatile
Here are a few of my favorite pink bubblies, all primed for purchase this
Famously packaged in appealing single serving-sized bottles, Pommery’s
“Pink POP” Non-Vintage Champagne has been released in full-size 750mL
bottles just in time for Valentine’s Day. Which is great news, since it’s
tough to stop after just one serving of the delicious off-dry sparkler
(off dry means slightly sweet in wine speak). The bubble gum pink-hued
charmer marries aromas and flavors of strawberries, currants and pomegranate
alongside a subtle undercurrent of sweetness, which means it’s as at home
when paired with fresh fruits and pastry- and custard-based desserts as
when sipped alone as a decadent apéritif. Plus, the fabulously flashy
pink packaging is guaranteed to elicit a squeal of approval from the pink
lover in your life. About $55.
Venerable producer Piper-Heidsieck’s Non-Vintage “Rosé Sauvage”
Champagne delivers versatility and style with a name that’s nothing if
not suggestive. Made in a dry style that’s well suited to traditional
food pairings – you can even sip on it throughout your V Day meal - Rosé
Sauvage delights with aromas and flavors of bright cherries, cinnamon,
plums and blood oranges. The gorgeous salmon-colored sparkler is made
from a blend of 50 different base wines and spends about 30 months in
Piper’s extensive caves prior to release. A classy rosé, it comes dressed
in a Barbie car-bright pink label that perfectly suits the revved-up romance
of this special day. About $45.
Created from a collaboration between French avant garde fashion
luminary Jean-Paul Gaultier and Piper-Heidsieck – a house rapidly becoming
known as one of the bubbly world’s most exciting innovators – comes this
scantily clad bottling of top-of-the-line Champagne. In an article full
of pink wine, I’ve slipped in this non-pink sparkler because I just couldn’t
resist its fabulous packaging. The red patent leather-wrapped bottle is
made to resemble a corset, cinched shut with peep-through lacing reminiscent
of edgy lingerie. And, like its ensemble, there’s nothing shy or subtle
about this bubbly’s flavors: the traditionally made cuvée boasts fully
developed notes of toast, citrus squirt and candied red fruits before
a nutty finish rounds out the decadent experience. What comes next is
entirely up to your discretion. About $110.