Valentine's Day and rosés are made for each other. Now, we're talking wine here, not flowers. Don't get me wrong -- flowers are a good thing and they will definitely help you in the romance department. But why not jazz it up with a beautiful, copper-hued bottle of rosé?
Rosé wine is made by soaking the wine-grape skins with the juice, a process called a cold soak. All grape juice is clear until it comes into contact with the skin. When rosés are made, the skin and juice are left together for a few days until the wine has attained the desired color. At that point, the juice is pulled off and allowed to ferment without the skins.
Here are five surefire, can't-miss bottles.
Rose Jolee, Del Rio Vineyards, Oregon
This is a sweet rosé, a delicious blend from Del Rio Vineyards in Oregon. French-born and internationally trained Jean-Michel Jussiaume crafts a delicious blend of muscat, riesling and petite syrah. Its bright copper highlights positively glisten. This is a voluptuous wine in every sense of the word. Fruit cocktail and floral aromas match the chin-dribbling good flavors. A slight fizz and succulent residual sugar complete the show. Costs about $16.
2012 La Vieille Ferme, Cotes du Ventoux, France
Dry, reasonably priced, delicate and fresh, La Vieille Ferme has been a standard for years. It's made by the Perrin family from vineyard holdings on Mount Ventoux in the southern Rhone. This is a classic blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault. Here you find true rosé petal perfume and fruit aroma. Strawberries and citrus make up the flavors in this balanced, light-bodied wine. Costs about $12.
2012 Rosé de Pinot Noir, Villa Wolf, Pfalz, Germany
It's not widely known, but Germany does make pinot noir. That's how we get to this superb rosé of pinot noir from Villa Wolf. Packaged in a tall, graceful hock bottle, the wine is so pale it's almost white. Light aromas hint at flowers while the mouth is kissed with sweetness and strawberries. Costs about $15.
2012 Coppola Sofia Rosé, Monterey, California
The Sofia Rosé bottle is one of the most beautiful packages going. It comes to us from Francis Ford Coppola, filmmaker-turned-winery-owner. Named for his daughter, this wine is truly elegant. Monterey County grenache, syrah and pinot noir provide a deep-hued rosé. Strong aromatics of strawberry and white flowers greet the nose. The mouth is rich, with strawberry fruit that moves to cherry with body and weight. This is a fairly robust rosé that takes a chill well. Costs about $20.
2013 Fabre Montmayou Rosé, Mendoza, Argentina
Fabre Montmayou is a delicate, crisp style of rosé. Light and refreshing, the acids fairly dance on your palate. The strawberry-style fruits and minerals are bracing and clean. Fabre Montmayou is patterned after a traditional French chateaux. The family owns land in both Mendoza and Patagonia, Argentina. All wines are estate-grown and are herbicide- and pesticide-free. Costs about $14.