Which is why your mom drinks so much White Zinfandel. Boom. Roasted.
It’s that time of year! Boxes of candies, Mylar balloons, filet mignons in overbooked restaurants. National Make Women Happy Day! Or, The Bouquets for Blow Jobs Exchange Program. Most of my fond Valentine’s memories come from primary school, when several boys with various lengths of rat tails offered me Sonic the Hedgehog and Goof Troop cards. I really peaked out in about ’94, before I grew half a foot and everyone decided advanced reading skills were no longer a “desirable female trait”.
But as I’ve spent the better part of a decade working in food and beverage, Valentine’s Day has been reduced to a terrible night (or in this year’s magically calamitous President’s Day overlap, a terrible weekend) of non-stop, amateur diners who have hinged the whole of their relationship’s value on this one, overpriced, rushed meal, cramped together at an uneven poker table the establishment clearly pulled out of a storage unit just to accommodate this glut of patrons. Its so hot. No, not the romance. The room is hot, because of all the sweaty people and crying waitresses.
Before you brand me a total cynic, I get it. Its a special night. And a special night calls for a special wine. I can’t think of anything that screams Valentines more than rosé Champagne. Bubbles are sexy and women love pink shit. Salmon. Yoga pants with “Pink” written in rhinestones on the ass. P!nk. They just do. But lets face it: Champagne is effin’ expensive. I have a solution though. Its only 140 miles East of Champagne, and probably about $140 cheaper for you. Crémant d’Alsace.
Being a French bubbly isn’t the only reason I suggest this as a Champagne substitute. The word crémant itself implies that the wine is held to many of the same pain-in-the-ass standards as Champagne in the way of grape harvesting, aging requirements, and that the second fermentation (where those bubbles come from) is to take place inside the bottle. Also, the Alsace region is almost as far north as Champagne, ensuring the cool weather needed to produce high acidity resulting in the same delicious zippiness. So you’re getting a pretty great knockoff without the hefty price. Like Jessica Simpson’s clothing line for Macy’s. Yeah. I said it.
Unlike other French regions, Alsace is very specific and upfront with the varietals they use in all their wines, and the sparkling rosés are no different. It will always be 100% Pinot Noir. One of my personal favorites?
NV meaning non-vintage, this wine is so sensual. I can’t believe I said that, but it literally smells like rose petals to me. And with its perfectly tiny pink bubbles, soft raspberry flavor and long, crisp finish, it just makes you want to wear silk or, I don’t know, put on a K-Ci & JoJo video on YouTube while wearing silk. Or sateen. Whatever this Kohl’s robe is made out of.
So skip the overpriced pink Veuve or Dom. That is for basic bitches wearing Jessica Simpson peep toes. Look for a Crémant d’Alsace rosé in that murky “Other Sparkling Wines” section of the list. Or you can bring in your own bottle and pay the corkage fee, still saving yourself a ton. Yeah, your server will hate you for it. But trust, he already does.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Get some!