With Valentine’s Day coming up you’re going to want to find the right drink to tempt your date. This romantic holiday calls for something a bit different than the everyday cocktail. Sandeman, a well known Port House is recommending something they call a “Sweetheart Sparkler.” This drink combines sparkling wine and port. And while both elements come from the wine world, combining them, makes them a cocktail in my book.
Before getting into the drink itself, I’ll look at the elements I used to make this beverage.
The 2007 Fratelli Moscato d’Asti is 100% Moscato. Fruit comes from the Asti region in Piedmont. 600 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price is $15.99.
This sparkling Moscato has intense aromas of fruit and honey. Throughout the palate honey, tropical fruit and an undercurrent of almond are present. There is a pleasant, inherent sweetness that glides along the tongue and coats the back of the tongue. Those sweet notes are perfectly balanced by enough acidity to keep this sparkler from every becoming cloying. On its own I would serve with appetizers such as goat cheese puffs or with a fruit tart for dessert.
The Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Port is made from select lots of wine. After fermentation is stopped by adding brandy this offering was aged for five years before it was released. The suggested retail price for this wine is $18.99.
This Port is a deep, dark ruby in color. The characteristics through the palate lean towards red fruit flavors. Red raspberry and bing cherry are prominent with vanilla and clove spice notes also playing an underlying role. The flavors are rich and sweet. This Port is impressively smooth. On its own I would pair this wine with either dark chocolate or strong cheeses.
While these wines are both lovely by themselves combining them to form a cocktail is what I recommend for something different this Valentine’s Day. The Sweetheart Sparkler is pretty straight forward:
1 part Port
3 parts Sparkling wine
I recommend poring the Port into a Champagne Flute first and topping it with the sparkling wine. The color becomes a lighter, brighter red. Closer to the red more closely associated with the holiday itself. The bright fruit flavors of the Moscato are balanced by the dark red fruit notes of the Port to form a flavor somewhere in the middle. With it’s balance of fruit flavors, acidity and sweetness this cocktail doesn’t need to be saved for dessert. It has diverse enough elements to drink with your Valentines’ Day meal. If you decide to do that, I’d suggest making up a pitcher of these right before you sit down to eat and enjoying it throughout the evening.
Head over to Gabe’s View for my Valentine’s Day Sparkling Wine Recommendations!