What is more romantic than a quiet night with your best girl ( or guy ) and a bottle of your favorite bubbly?
Right away you thought champagne, didn't you? Well all that sparkles isn't French. Certainly the Champagne region of France produces the most famous and some of the finest sparkling wines in the world.
Many other countries produce very good sparklers. Espumantes from Portugal, Spanish cavas, pezsgo from Hungary, German sekt, and plethora of Italian wines are most definitely worthy of an intimate evening. Champagne is only one of many French sparkling wines and Italy produces asti, francacorta, trento, proscecco and the rarest of all sparkling wines, the ruby red brachetto.
Bubbles in wine are produced by carbon dioxides. CO2 can be a natural by-product of fermenting in the bottle or may be injected in the barrel. In ancient Greece and Rome bubbles were thought to be a "fault" in wine. Over fermentation would reek havoc in wine cellars, as popping corks would set off chain reactions wiping out entire stocks. Hence sparkling wine was originally labeled the "devil's wine."
The famed Dom Perignon was a French monk who's sole task was to remove the bubbles from his monasteries cellars. Now-a days we embrace this "fault" if not relish it. My personal favorite is the proscecco family with it's tiny almost invisible bubble and a faint sweetness that is not over powering.
So this Valentine's Day be adventurous, be daring, go out on a limb, pick up some fresh fruit, a soft mild cheese, some crusty bread and a bottle of sparkling wine from your favorite country. Oh yeah, don't forget to pick up your sweetheart!