02/05/2016 01:12 EST | Updated 02/05/2017 05:12 EST

Counting Down To Valentine's Day And Sparkling Rosés At Vintages

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Close-up of two Glasses Rose / Pink Champagne, selective focus

Aah, Valentine's Day. That one day a year we celebrate all things love - even secret, unrequited love. Yet very little is known of Saint Valentine of Rome for whom this day was created. According to Wikipedia he "is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love."


St. Valentine Kneeling in Supplication" by artist David Teniers III (1638-1685)

The HISTORY Channel believes medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer may have invented Valentine's Day. He often took satirical liberties with history by placing fictional characters and poetic spin into factual historical situations. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine's Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work "Parliament of Foules," he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine's feast day-an association that didn't exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, "For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate," he may have invented the holiday we know today.

The notion of a medieval poet inventing this saintly day of love is in itself the epitome of romance. Many a sonnet has been penned about love and love lost , an admiring verse delivered in secret, and Odes expressing lust and longing have endured centuries of quiet contemplation. Today, we have greeting card companies to do the hard work of putting pen to paper and we merely sign our name accompanied with - xo. In a fast-paced world it's nice that we have Valentine's Day to pause and appreciate those around us that hold a special place in our hearts and we can credit the Romans and Chaucer equally.


Photo courtesy of Edible Arrangements

This February 6th VINTAGES has some delicious sparkling Rosés hitting the shelves. Sexy bottles and packaging are sure to entice even the most scrupulous buyer. Pair them with chocolate dipped strawberries, truffles, liquid cherries, red roses, and you've got a date! They make a perfect gift as well. There's a sparkler for every taste and budget while knowledgeable LCBO Product Consultants are always ready to help you with suggestions and tasting notes. I've also included a couple of VQA sparkling wines currently available now.

Ontario VQA

Henry of Pelham Cuveé Catharine Rosé Brut $24

Refreshing Niagara acidity with plenty of fresh field berries, zest, yeast and minerality. Available now.

13th Street Winery Cuvée 13 Sparkling Rosé $23 (Limited offer)

Vibrant acidity and persistent delicate mousse awakens the palate and waits for the next gulp. Made in the méthode Champenoise with superb craftsmanship. One of my go-to faves. Available now.

Chateau des Charmes Sparkling Rosé 2012 $29

Pale ballerina slipper pink with some larger persistent bubble. Fresh picked field berries, citrus,Niagara tree fruit, biscuit. Lively acidity. February 6 release.

Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013 $30 Your sparkling wine alternative.

On it's own it IS dessert or pair it with a rich assortment of desserts or salty cheeses for pure decadent pleasure. This Lakeview Icewine could be the perfect Valentine paired with chocolate covered strawberries. February 6 release.


Champagne Lallier Rosé $60

Good value for Champagne and nice quality. Elegant and supple in the mouth with delicate mousse. Bright acidity. February 6 release.

Luc Belaire Rare Sparkling Rosé $40

Sexy black bottle and long jellybean finish. Blend of three signature French grapes - Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault culminate in a vibrant wine with aromas and flavours of fresh red berries, red apple, black currant, lavender and I detected a hint of toffee. February 6 release.

Pierre Sparr Pinot Noir Rosé Cremeant D'Alsace $19

Budget friendly French sparkling wine. Definitely quaffable with fresh cut oxidized apple, raspberry, toast, and biscuit aromas/ flavours. Refreshing acidity. February 6 release.

Taittinger Millesime Champagne 2008 $98 Your sparkling Rosé alternative.

Pure decadence. This Champagne will leave you wondering, " Does it get any better than this?" Sip on it's own as a toast or...just because. *sigh* February 6 release.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Until next time... wine * food * run


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