No matter what you’re doing, where you are, or whom you are with, Valentine’s Day celebrations call for a pour of bubbly, whether romantic rosé or elegant blanc. And it’s always a bonus if you can find these sparklers for under $20 a bottle, which most of these are — even a couple of the rosés, which tend to be more expensive.
Here, then, is a Valentine bouquet of a bubbly bottles both white and pink with one flaming red example.
Domaine Bousquet Mendoza Brut NV ($13). Made from organic grapes, this Argentinean has intense fruitiness with eau-de-vie-like fruit flavors.
Pascual Toso Mendoza Brut NV ($13). Even with its bubbles, the flavors here are more like those of a chardonnay table wine — not a bad thing — with some herbal notes and a firm finish.
Bianca Vigna Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut NV ($14). Good yeasty notes with a touch of brioche crumbs; the slight oxidation makes it a good food wine.
Castell de Vilarnau Catalonia Cava Brut Reserva NV ($15). Rich bubbles, firm flavors, and a little sherry-like fruitiness in the finish.
Col Vetoraz Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut NV ($16). Nice bubbly intensity with candied flavors, like minty Valentine hearts.
Vino dei Fratelli Prosecco Extra Dry 2016 ($18). Lightly sweet but with good intensity and a crisp finish.
Mionetto Cuvée Anniversario Valdobbiadene Prosecco NV ($23). A very nice combination of minerality and creaminess within a firm structure.
Domaine Bousquet Mendoza Brut Rosé NV ($13). Nice floral sweetness with good body and fine intensity.
Castell de Vilarnau Catalonia Cava Brut Rosé Reserva NV ($16). Very light, delicate flavors with dark cherry notes and a pleasant metallic underlay.
Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Stellenbosch Brut Rosé NV ($25). A South African made with some pinotage along with the traditional pinot noir and pinot meunier, this is a tightly wound pink with good acidity and a pleasant dash of bitters.
Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Rosé NV ($30). Lots of light candied flavors with a finish of lightly sweet rose hip jelly.
Paringa South Australia Sparkling Shiraz 2016 ($18). Aussie sparkling shiraz is no-apologies, big and full, sweet and fruity, ruby red bubbly — and this one has some savory notes to boot. An acquired taste, perhaps, and one for only the sweetest of hearts.
Wines for review were provided by their producers or importers at no cost to the writer.