In Food + Drink

A Sommelier’s Guide To The Best Sparkling Wines For Valentine’s Day

Co-founder of Magnum + Queens Wine Virginia Selleck on how to take things up a notch.

Champagne is always a good idea. For Valentine’s Day, it’s an obvious no-brainer. The concept of a house champagne – your household’s go-to label for celebrations and get-together – is a lovely concept, but sometimes you need to spice things up. There’s plenty sparkling wines to experiment with.

Sommelier Virginia Selleck has you covered. As co-founder of curated subscription wine service Magnum + Queens and former sommelier of Cumulus Inc and Rockpool Bar and Grill, she’s tasted plenty of sparking wine in her time.

From a wallet-friendly prosecco to a biodynamic rose, Selleck shares her favourite sparkling wines for Valentine’s Day.

For a champagne proper

Andre Clouet Photo: Kirsten Dickie

Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut NV – Bouzy, Champagne, France $80

“Stored lovingly under Clouet family’s countryside cottage in Bouzy – a village in France’s infamous region – this is a beautifully-complex grower Champagne. Packed with citrus, ripe pear, minerals and white flower notes, it’s one to match with roasted scallops or freshly shucked oysters. This is the perfect drop of a decadent evening with your loved one.”

For good value-for-money

Umberto Luigi Domenico Prosecco DOC NV, Veneto, Italy $22
“There is no need to compromise on quality, or break the bank, with this much-adored Italian number. Coming from the hills of Veneto, this dry Prosecco is bursting with flavour of apples and honeysuckle, whilst retaining an incredible lightness; perfection alongside some prosciutto and crostini on a warm summer’s evening.”

For something biodynamic

Holly’s Garden Photo: Kirsten Dickie

Holly’s Garden Rosé Petillant 2015 – Whitlands, Victoria $30

“Neil Prentice bases his wine-growing principles on low yielding vines that are managed with biodynamic principles to achieve the highest quality of fruit possible. The 2015 Holly’s Garden Rose Petillant is produced in the traditional Charmat method from Pinot Noir that is grown on the high plateau of the Whitlands. Brioche flavours are complemented by strawberry and maraschino cherry fruit finishing with tangy crunchy acidity. It offers everything you could possibly want in a wine – or a partner for that matter.”

Lini 910 Lambrusco Rosso ‘Labrusca’ NV, Correggio, Italy

“With a century of experience winemaker Fabio Lini is making Lambrusco worlds away from the sweet style fizz that has tarnished its reputation previously. Produced with 85% Salamino and 15% Ancellotta grapes using the Charmat method with a long, slow fermentation lasting 3-4 months. This is dry, fragrant and refreshing with dark berry-coloured bubbles. Lush aromas of savoury red fruit with slight tannins this fun wine is best matched with your main meal.”

Cheers! Photo: Magnum + Queens

For something romantic

Arras Brut Elite Sparkling NV, Tasmania $38

“From Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker, Ed Carr, this local cool-climate Tasmanian drop is a true bubbly hero and perfect Valentine’s Day drinking. Clean and elegant, it contains undertones of white peach, lychee and subtle spices. Seamlessly complemented by a dash of truffle, it is a much-needed addition to a romantic night in.”

Published 09 February, 2018