Roses are red
Violets are blue
If I drink pink
You will too
Some men (apparently) are notorious for leaving Valentine’s (and probably a whole lot of other things) until the last minute. And as you might have guessed, we’re no exception to the rule.
That said. Here’s a clutch of Valentine drops that might just fit the bill…
Oh, and about that poem, which everyone learned as a kid. (Didn’t they?)
After some arduous sleuthing on Wikipedia, it turns out the version that everyone seems to know (at least one close to it) shows up in Gammer Gurton’s Garland, “a 1784 collection of English nursery rhymes.”
However, for all you English Lit. geeks, we happen to like this slightly more romantic rhyme, attributed to Sir Edmund Spenser, in The Faerie Queene:
It was upon a Sommers shynie day,
When Titan faire his beames did display,
In a fresh fountaine, farre from all mens vew,
She bath’d her brest, the boyling heat t’allay;
She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.
Anyway … These suitably Valentine-esque suggestions should add a seductive little something to your festivities.
• Haywire, The Bub in Pink 2011
It definitely is pink (from Pinot Noir with Chardonnay), a really pretty pale almost candy-floss looking pink that promises with hints of cherry and green apple on the nose and delivers just that in a no-nonsense palate, buoyed by a bevy of bodacious bubbles, that begs to be quaffed—and easily is. 89 pts. ($24.95) Availability
• Viña Chocolan Syrah Petit Verdot Rosé 2012.
We were amazed to see the changes here when we visited during our trip to Chile last year. This rosé is typical of the value this Maipo Coastal winery delivers. Strawberry notes with a juicy, fruit forward palate; textured with good acidity and length. The colour alone will make your hearts throb. Verdot. 89 pts. (BCLS 12.99)
• Marqués de Cáceres Rosé 2011/12 (Rioja).
Here’s a big name but highly appealing, widely available rosé which more than fits the bill for lingering, late-summer picnics. Bright crimson in the glass with red berry and forward strawberry-rhubarb notes, with plenty of heft that will stand up to a wide range of tastes, including spicier salamis and strong cheeses. 88 pts. BCLS $16.99.
• Alliance Loire Rosé d’Anjou Les Legeriens 2011 (Loire)
Here’s a passionate drop if ever there was one. Made mainly with Gamay and Grolleau; bright rose to orange colours in the glass with strawberry notes on top that follow through on the intensely fruity palate for a mouth-filling, long-lasting drop. Good with grilled chicken or just for gazing ($14.99 and up at private stores, 89 pts)
• Crofts Pink Port N/V
I’m sure some old port lovers would be turning in their graves if they saw what the world has come to, but this fun take on a classic is just that. Who knew? Fortified rosé indeed. Bright red berries in the glass that do taste pretty porty and might have you craving a little chocolate to go along, if you want to sip it neat or over ice. Or, you could top it up with soda and add a splash of bitters with a slice of orange, for a more “adult” drink in the hot tub. And what you don’t finish on Valentine’s Day you’ll have plenty of fun with at the next party (BCLS $19.99).
The splurge? Champagne, of course!
• De Sacy Rosé.
This non-vintage rosé is superb, very pretty salmon in the glass, vibrant and cherry notes, quite wine-like with a definite mineral streak and dry finish. I could happily drink it with crab—or on its own. 91 pts. (BCLS $69.99)