“I only drink Champagne on two occasions,” Coco Chanel once famously quipped, “when I am in love and when I am not.” Valentine’s Day just might be the universal reality check on which side of that divide you’re on, but the inimitable Ms. Chanel’s words add up to a terrific strategy either way.
In the time since Chanel gave that quotable kiss to the exquisite bubblies of her native France, the West Coast has added its own beautiful sparklers to the mix. And while the sparkling-wine houses on both sides of the pond turn out a vast range of wines, from Blanc de Blancs through Blanc de Noirs, vintage and non (to think of sparkling wine as a single kind of wine is to do it a grave injustice), what seems called for on Valentine’s Day is pink.
Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite sparkling rosés, with a price for every pocket. Any of these bottles will instigate a celebration, whether shared or not.
Champagne Palmer & Co. Rosé Réserve
An unusual solera of Pinot Noir gives this rosé from Palmer & Co. ($80) a character almost without reference points. Flamboyant—maybe a little wild—red fruit is layered with spice on a complex backdrop of brioche notes and rose hips.
Cuvaison 2015 Brut Rosé Los Carneros, Napa Valley
A new bubbly from a trusted still-wine producer, Cuvaison’s Brut Rosé ($50) is a red-fruited beauty, with raspberry and strawberry layered over rose petals, toasted nuts, and a kick of orange zest.
Domaine Carneros Cuvée de la Pompadour, Carneros
Who can resist this namesake of Louis XV’s legendary paramour, from Champagne Taittinger’s California house? In fact, she rivals the more modern Coco Chanel (above) for quotable quotes: “Champagne is the only wine that a woman can drink and remain beautiful.” In this Carneros rosé ($37), a nose full of rose blossom, berry patch, and Frangelico aromas leads into a burst of fruit (cherry and raspberry) that would do the king’s mistress proud, pleasantly tart and dry and finishing with a puckery grapefruit edge.
Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé Champagne
This wine from Laurent-Perrier ($100, and reportedly a favorite of Prince Charles) has remarkable fruit—strawberry, cherry, raspberry—for an Old World bubbly, but it delivers elegant minerality and yeast notes for excellent balance.
Mod Sélection Rosé Champagne
New and noteworthy from beverage guru Brent Hocking, Mod Rosé Champagne ($400)—made with the saignée method—delivers bubbles that are impossibly vibrant. Delicate wild strawberry aromas lead to lively cherry and cranberry notes—intense but fresh and light-footed at once.
Ponzi Vineyards 2014 Brut Rosé Willamette Valley
Bright cranberry and wild strawberry pop in this gorgeous rosé from Oregon pioneer Ponzi Vineyards ($50). Exotic blossoms and brioche add layers, along with pear, hazelnut, and orange zest.
Roederer Estate 2009 L’Ermitage Rosé Anderson Valley
The Mendocino County outpost of Champagne Louis Roederer and Cristal produces some of the best sparkling wine in California. The delicate salmon color of this Roederer Estate tête de cuvée ($65) matches its delicate red berry flavors. But vibrant energy balances delicacy in this one, and creaminess civilizes tart cranberry and warm spice.
Sokol Blosser 2014 Sparkling Rosé of Pinot Noir Blossom Ridge Eola–Amity Hills
Rose petals balance delicate earthiness on the nose of this rosé from Sokol Blosser ($50), with some time on the lees showing. Tart red fruit (raspberry and rhubarb) dominates a lovely, lively palate.
Soter Vineyards 2013 Mineral Springs Brut Rosé Yamhill-Carlton
This pink sparkler from Oregon’s Soter Vineyards ($65) has a wonderful edge of wild strawberry aromas blended with savory herbal notes. The fruit on the palate is bright and tart, with nutty undertones.