For Valentine’s Day you have to go with pink fizz—
Pink fizz and romance flow through one another like rivulets of laughter cascading from an Olympian shindig. If it’s beauty on a budget you seek, Cava Rosado from Spain is the way to go – six quid buys you Tesco Cava Rosado, or the glorious Prestige Cava Rosado from M&S is fantastic for a tenner – it’s immense. But to really impress, climb higher up Fizz Mountain.
South Africa has hidden gems made in the traditional method, with secondary fermentation in each bottle creating elegant bubbles. Of course, for years French Champagne has been the highest peak that all fizz seekers have scaled to elevate the mood and mind. While this is changing to a degree, there are still some absolute corkers to aim for. Charles Heidsieck creates some of my all-time favourite rosé, and for a splurge its ‘Rare’ 2008 is magnificent for £299 from thewhiskyexchange.com. Often these higher prices correspond to a longer time ageing the fizz to give more complex flavours – it’s up to you whether to splash the cash.
Outside the Champagne region in France, Crémant can also be incredible, but England sends my heart soaring with a growing trademark in thirst-quenching zing. I’ve recently visited Coolhurst and bought 12 bottles of its fabulously fruity Lady Elizabeth rosé on the spot (coolhurstvineyards.com). You should also seek out Ambriel (ambrielsparkling.com), Hoffmann & Rathbone (hoffmannandrathbone.co.uk) and Greyfriars (greyfriarsvineyard.co.uk).
OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH
PINK AND PERKY: Graham Beck The Rhona Rosé NV (12%) £11 M&S. Crackling bubbles with big bunches of flavour, bang on for all-night indulgence.
AND YOUR BIRD CAN ZING: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Crémant de Loire Rosé NV (12.5%) £11.50. Singing with zing, think roses and red apples in perfect harmony.
MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED RED ROSÉ: Hattingley Valley Brut Rosé (12.5%) £37 Waitrose. England delivers the goods and more – complex, zesty and thrilling pink fizz. Go for it.
BOLLY GOOD SHOW: Bollinger Rosé NV (12%) £49.49 Majestic. Top quality statement fizz with prestige and power, James Bond’s pick – and mine.
WINE OF THE WEEK
Aldi Veuve Monsigny Champagne Rosé NV (12.5%) £16.99. Outrageously divine for the price, this year’s bargain romance popping bubbly.
Join Olly for an Evening with Corney&Barrow and The Bumblebee Conservation Trust – fabulous wines, food and bee talk with all profits going to the Trust & a free signed copy of Fizz for all. Thurs 13th Feb. Tickets at corneyandbarrow.com/events