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Flirt with the pink to create a little Valentine sparkle.

Saints above! In pursuit of pink pleasure, Valentine's Day (February 14) is the perfect evening to call on Cupid and impress your loved one with a glass of something pretty special.

Coming up roses will not only seduce them with a scented bouquet, it's a romantic gesture that can be sipped, savoured and shared in equal measures.

With the surge in popularity of sparkling and still rose, there's plenty of temptation to thrill the tastebuds and pull at the heartstrings.

For the colour of rose petals, try Villa Borgo Sparkling Pinot Grigio Blush (pounds 4.99, Aldi). This cheeky off-dry tutti-frutti from Veneto makes a delicious aperitif with spicy nibbles, or moreish prawn crackers.

For something irresistible from New Zealand, try Bluff Hill Rose NV (pounds 7.99 from pounds 9.99, M&S until February 27). A blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, these delightful bubbles are scented with wild strawberries - rich pickings at under a tenner. Savvy shoppers who want to serenade their darling with the closest thing to champagne should try this French fancy, Roche Lacour Rose 2008, Cremant de Limoux (pounds 10.99, www.laithwaites.

Bluff Hill Rose NV (pounds 7.99 from pounds 9.99, M&S until February 27) Not only will the glamorous bottle impress, but this elegant raspberry pink bubbly is rich with berry fruits. It's a treat on its own, or with smoked salmon blinis and seafood.

Couples with a taste for the classic aphrodisiac, oysters and champagne, should treat themselves to a bottle of Thienot Brut Rose (pounds 36.99, A traditional blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, it's sophisticated, weighty, with hints of morello cherries on the long, heavenly finish. It's a brilliant food champagne.

For Veuve fans drawn to the iconic Brut Yellow Label, why not try its less mainstream offering, Veuve Cliquot Rose NV (pounds 40.99, Sainsbury's)? Pinot noir dominant with delicate sweet nuances, it's classy and complex, with a satisfyingly fruity finish.

Roche Lacour Rose 2008, Cremant de Fashionable and the wine of the moment, even rose sceptics can't help but fall in love with Limoux (pounds 10.99, Bollinger Rose NV (pounds 45, Waitrose). My favourite rose champagne, it's been hailed by the critics as one of the finest in the world. Another pinot noir dominant beauty, it's rich and toasty with luscious raspberry fruit and a fine, creamy mousse.

After a couple of glasses of sparkle, a rose wine tailored to the charms of a tasting plate with goodies such as Spanish cured meats, mezze or antipasti can be more amorous than a formal, candlelit dinner. Try Louis Jadot Beaujolais Rose 2010 (pounds 8.99, Tesco) made from 100% gamay, it's deliciously fresh and fruity on the palate.

Bollinger Rose NV (pounds 45, Waitrose) Or for a fuller-bodied rose, pop the cork on a bottle of Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Rose 2010 (pounds 8.99, Waitrose). An interesting blend of sauvignon blanc, riesling and chardonnay, topped up with malbec, this vibrant pink is bursting with summer fruits and tastes wonderful with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

And for sweethearts who'll be tuning into some red carpet glamour and watching this year's Baftas (February 13) the night before Valentine's, why not toast Colin Firth with a glass of Taittinger Prestige Rose NV (pounds 45.99, Oddbins). Official champagne partner to the ceremony, it's the champers some of our favourite stars will be sipping when they step into the spotlight.

Love is in the air!

Louis Jadot Beaujolais Rose 2010 (pounds 8.99, Tesco)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 6, 2011
Previous Article:PUB SPY.

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