Sparkling wine for Valentine’s DayPerhaps it’s a gift, or perhaps you’re sharing a bottle in a restaurant. In either case, sparkling wine has the ability to mark the occasion like nothing else. Champagne and other sparkling wines are often rather expensive, so this can be a bit problematic if you are on a budget this Valentine’s Day. Worry not though, we’ve come up with some top tips for how to really make the evening sparkle without spending a small (or big) fortune!
Non-vintage Champagne is your friendChampagne is not cheap. No surprises there. Without breaking the law, you won’t get your hands on a bottle of Champagne below a certain price threshold. You can, however, mitigate the damage somewhat by going for a non-vintage (NV) Champagne instead of a vintage Champagne. Most of the big Champagne houses take serious pride in their NV wine, and you are guaranteed a certain style and quality level year in and year out. The big brands all produce reliable NV wines that cost considerably less than their vintage and other high-end examples. You can also find tremendous value in the NV wines of houses that are not quite as well known. Remember that “Champagne” itself is often as impressive a brand name as that of any specific house. Some of our favourites are:
Size doesn’t matterWho says that size always matters? If your loved one has his or her heart set on a big name or a prestigious Grand Cru Champagne, and it’s still a little out of your price range, consider a half bottle. Many of the top producers market half or even quarter bottles. A half bottle of Champagne is cute and it’s portable: Perfect for surprise picnics or other spontaneous acts of romance. Be warned that you may pay more per litre than you would for a standard bottle, but this may get you out of a bind all the same.
Look beyond ChampagneChampagne is all well and good, but it’s pricey. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t have the budget for it, or you simply want more bang for your Valentine’s Day buck, then look outside the Champagne region altogether. Cava is our favourite Champagne alternative, as it is made in the same “traditional method” yet costs considerably less than the French fizz. Cava in general offers a fantastic quality/price ratio, and will very rarely cost you anything close to Champagne-level prices. Because of this, you have a little more room to manoeuvre, and can consider vintage Cavas and other more premium bottles. If you’re buying Cava for your Valentine this year, we recommend the following:
- Gran Juvé y Camps 2012
- Gramona III Lustros Gift Box 2007
- Elyssia Gran Cuvée
- Artadi Cava Brut Vintage 2009
If all else fails...go pink!If you are seriously low on cash and have to go for the most basic option, at least go for something pink! A sparkling rosé wine fits the Valentine’s Day theme and you’ll at least get kudos for the thought! Some wallet-friendly pink sparklers include: So there you have it, our top tips for a bubbly, budget-friendly Valentine’s Day. If you have any tips of your own, please share them here. Happy Valentine’s Day!