Valentine Wines

Not that we really need an excuse to open a bottle of something pink and sparkly but at least on Valentine’s Day we don’t even have to make one up. Very quickly, what makes wine pink? Answer: the skins of the grapes. You can’t make rose from white grapes; but add red grapes into the mix and voila! We’re in the pink. We’ve got two sparkling rose wines this week, one cheapish (for champagne, anyway) and one worth splashing out on (still great value, though). There’s a pink vodka too because: genius. Drop hints, self-gift, whatever. Happy Valentine’s Day, beautiful.

Current sparkling in the fridge: Veuve Monsigny Rose

Price: £14.99 - Buy From Aldi

Not easy to find fresh, crisp, fruity rose champagne at this price. I mean, it’s not cheap but for champagne it’s about as cheap as a good rose gets. Compared with some of the more expensive stuff it’s not nearly as delicate but you still get the thrill of bubbles and berries and toast. Pretty to look at and lovely to drink. And at this price, there’s change left from a twenty for a card and a big bar of Fruit & Nut (although I’d drink this with nibbles and save the chocolate for later, along with a glass of sweet Muscat).

Current sparkling in the fridge: Oudinot Rose Brut NV

Price: £24.00 - Buy From Marks & Spencer

Made exclusively for M&S by a producer called Oudinot, it’s a blend of the two red grapes allowed in Champagne, namely Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. And it’s gorgeous: fresh and crisp with a gentle whiff of toast about it. The light pink colour comes from the grape skins being left with the juice for a couple of hours after they’ve been crushed. True love doesn’t come cheap but this one’s £4 cheaper than usual at the moment. Brilliant with fish & chips.

Current vodka in the freezer: Chase Rhubarb Vodka

Price: £38.00 - Buy From John Lewis

Pink vodka! Made with rhubarb! So clever. The people at Chase make their three-times distilled vodka, then macerate it with rhubarb before distilling a fourth time. (In theory the more times it’s distilled, the purer the flavours in the resulting spirit). This one is decidedly look-at-me in colour and smells of rhubarb and custard. Seriously, the theme tune started in my head as soon as I stuck my nose in the glass. It tastes sweeter than your average vodka, almost creamy in texture too. Chase suggest you serve it with champagne or prosecco as a cocktail but I love it served simply with good tonic and big chunks of ice. Edible glitter garnish optional.

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