Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is the perfect evening for wine lovers to take the seductive route and add a splash of passion to their after-dark soirees.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is one of the most highly rated non-vintage white champagnes on the shelves, and its blushing sister deserves a dalliance. Try flirting with Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve (£56.50, harrods. com). This gorgeous coral pink has a wild strawberry nose, good strength and body, with a deliciously fruity palate and excellent freshness on the finish.
Another top flight producer, Lanson Rose Label Brut Rose (£35.99, Sainsbury’s) holds the title of the best-selling rose in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. A pale salmon colour with a delicate, red berry floral nose, fine beads of bubbles and good length, it’s a real pleasure to drink.
A bit of a wild card, Pongracz Sparkling Brut Rose, Stellenbosch (£14.99, Morrisons) is a pretty South African sparkler, delicious with smoked salmon and seafood light bites. Fresh berry flavours, a floral nose and feisty bubbles, what’s not to love about this burst of summer fruits?
After the fizz-fest has settled, why not go vintage with a red for a romantic night in. For Italian warmth, try Appassionata del Antica Bottega ICT 2007 (£12.99, laithwaites. co.uk), an outstanding ruby red from Verona that lives up to its name. Velvety smooth with dense black cherries, blackberry fruit and soft, silky tannins, the flavours will delight the most discerning drinkers.