Impress With Bubbles On Valentine’s Day

Looking for a sweet Valentine’s Day gift for that special person with terrific taste? Make their heart go pitter-pat – and their mouth water – with tickets to The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, and a bottle of bubbly hand-selected by June Rodil, sommelier at Austin’s Congress and Second Bar + Kitchen. Scroll down to get the inside line on her favorite champagne recommendations for V-Day, or any special occasion, and put a little fizz in your fête!

Louis de Grenelle Brut
Saumur Rose Corail, Non Vintage | $16-18

100% Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, this wine has notes of fresh strawberries, white raspberries and mint with a crisp, dry finish, and is a great, affordable alternative to a champagne rose.

Montesel Prosecco Conegliano di Valdobiadenne, Non Vintage | $18-20

Arguably the best sight for prosecco, the bubbles are more tightly wound that most everyday prosecco and has a mousse-like texture. Soft and easy-drinking with elements of fuzzy white peaches and sweet tulip petals, the Montesel is great if you want to enjoy a bottle of bubbly alone or as an apertif.

Patrick Bottex La Cueille Bugey
Cerdon Rose, Non-Vintage | $19-25

This wine is one of my favorite ways to start a meal and even end it. Made from mostly Gamay and a bit of Poulsard, the Bottex has notes of wild, brambly raspberries and hibiscus tea. It’s Method Ancestrale production gives it slightly sweet mid palate with a balanced acidity. Great when you want to enjoy some pink bubbly with dishes with a hint of spice or even sweets such as strawberry shortcake and fruit sorbets.

Raventos i Blanc Cava
Gran Reserva de la Finca 2005 | $32-36

A smaller, quality driven Cava house whose family legacy dates back to the mid 1800s, Raventos cava always straddles freshness and firmness of citrus fruits (think meyer lemons and tart granny smith apples) with the subtle nutty, almond note from the bottle aging.

Varart Coquart Grand Cru Brut
Bland de Blancs, Non Vintage | $40-$45

If I’m looking for a champagne to whet my whistle while I pondering the menu, my go-to is blanc de blancs. The Vazart, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru village of Chouilly is freshness epitomized with fresh squeezed lemon juice, kaffir limes, and signing acidity that leaves my mouth watering for more. The true mark of this wine, however, is that it always smells of the white blossoms on chardonnay vines before the fruit emerges.

Andre Clouet Brut Rose | $45-50

Packaged with a beautiful baroque style label and made from 100% Pinot Noir in the red grape dominated town of Bouzy, this champagne is a bouquet of roses and a bowl of ripe strawberries in a bottle. Though the heady and sweetened fruit aromas may seem too much for some, the focused minerality finishes dry and with finesse on the palate.

Roger Rich Demi Sec Champagne
Non-Vintage | $49-56

Made from one of my favorite larger champagne houses, the Pol Roget Rich has an element of sweetness on the mid-palate and added weight for a full-bodied mouthfeel. If you’re looking to pair something with sweets (always so hard to do with champagnes in my opinion) and aren’t in the mood for Bugey Cerdon, the marzipan notes and sweet golden apple elements in this wine will work well with desserts and even entrees with sweeter reductions.

Vilmart Brut Cuvee Rubis Rose | $68-74

While other roses may seem boring, Vilmart Rubis is never innocuous. Made from 90% Pinot Noir and 10%Chardonnay there is always a striking cinnamon and spiced orange quality that lingers with the classic strawberry and red currant tones. Lean and elegant, yet powerful enough to drink through an entire meal.

Henri Goutorbe Grand
Cru Brut Special Club 2002 | $80-85

If you’re looking for something voluptuous and plush, look no further than the Henri Goutorbe. While there is still dazzling structure on the finish from the Ay Grand Cru grapes used in this cuvee, the complexity of rich blueberry notes, red tea, and fresh baked croissants create a exotic palate dance.

Clos de Goisses Brut 1999 | $180-$200

When it’s time to go big, impress, and perhaps even pat yourself on the back, this is truly a special occasion wine with overarching complexity and length. Oftentimes, people drink this single-vineyard champagne too early, but that is not to say that it doesn’t taste good in its youth: slightly oxidative, hauntingly intense with citrus, savory minerality, toasted brioche, and white blossoms.

Make sure to catch June at The Wines Of Texas Are Upon You at The Auditorium Shores Oak Tent on Sunday, April 29th @ 11:00am – 11:45am. Click Here to see the Full Schedule.