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Think pink


Valentine’s Day presents a perfect opportunity to pick up a bottle of sparkling rosé to color coordinate your romantic meal.

Greg Horton February 9th, 2011

Wild Turkey Finer Wines & Spirits, 12021 N. MacArthur, is home to one of the best sparkling selections in Oklahoma City. Manager Chris Burrows has been at the store since it was Smitty’s, and he still oversees an impressive wine selection. Prices range from less than $10 all the way up to the $200-$300 range for Champagne and sparkling wine.

Rosé is typically a summer wine, but sparkling rosé is good year-round. Since people tend to spend more money on red and pink around this time of year, why not stick with the theme and try sparkling rosé this Valentine’s Day?

Wild Turkey Finer Wines & Spirits, 12021 N. MacArthur, is home to one of the best sparkling selections in Oklahoma City. Manager Chris Burrows has been at the store since it was Smitty’s, and he still oversees an impressive wine selection. Prices range from less than $10 all the way up to the $200-$300 range for Champagne and sparkling wine. There is something for everyone’s taste, beginning with the very affordable Cristalino rosé cava.

Cava is Spanish sparkling wine, and it’s produced with the same method that the French use to make Champagne. The name comes from the cava, or underground cellars used for fermentation.

Cristalino, usually priced around $10-$12, is simply one of the best price-to-quality values in the metro. Crisp acid, good structure and strawberry and cherry flavors make the Cristalino a great choice for salad, seafood appetizers, fresh fruit or just as an aperitif. Cristalino is also available at Modern Liquor, 2918 N. Penn, and Express Liquor, 9200 N. Council.

Bruce Upthegrove, a wine representative for Republic National Distributing, represents the wine in Oklahoma. “For the price, Cristalino is just one of the best, least wellknown sparkling wines on the market,” he said.

Burrows said Champagne still outsells American sparkling, cava and Prosecco at Wild Turkey, especially Veuve Clicquot, but he said some non- French sparkling does well. Burrows typically recommends the Clicquot or Nicolas Feuillatte, two of France’s bestknown Champagne houses.

Clicquot makes a critically acclaimed rosé in addition to its everpopular Yellow Label brut. The rosé is a bit drier, and the fruit notes are far superior to the Yellow, including watermelon and strawberry. Light smoke and yeast flavors keep it from being a fruit bomb, however. Typically priced in the $50-$60 range, the Clicquot is a step up, but still far more affordable than the expensive but worth-every-dime Dom Perignon rosé.

Matt Sterr, managing partner of the Spirit Shop, 1117 Garver in Norman, said the Clicquot is easily his best-selling “authentic Champagne.”

“I try to steer people toward the rosé,” Sterr said. “As Champagne goes, it’s often considered a premium or higher caliber than the simple brut. The Clicquot is light on the palate, and I recommend customers pair it with smoked salmon or chocolatedipped strawberries.”

For the price, Cristalino is just one of the best, least well-known sparkling wines on the market.

—Bruce Upthegrove

Wild Turkey also has two American sparkling rosés that are a must for bubbles fans: Gruet and Schramsberg. Gruet is the bestknown winery in New Mexico.

Yes, New Mexico, but don’t let that stop you from trying some of the best American sparkling wines. Priced about $15, the Gruet rosé is a solid sparkler, with strawberry and raspberry flavors accompanying the wine’s abundance of floral notes.

The Gruet is also available at The Grape Wine & Spirits, 13325 N. MacArthur, and by the glass at West, 6714 N. Western, and The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro, 6418 N. Western.

The Schramsberg brut rosé comes from one of America’s best-known sparkling houses (also known for its J. Davies Cabernet). Red fruit flavors blend well in this very toasty, crisp sparkler. The Schramsberg is an appropriate food wine, but it’s refreshing enough to work as an aperitif as well. It’s available at the brand new Wine Gallery, 12000 S. Western, and Coffee Creek Wine Shop, 775 W. Covell in Edmond.

Schramsberg has recently released its Mirabelle brut rosé in the state. Priced about a third lower than the Schramsberg wines, the Mirabelle sparkling wines are a value at the mid-$20 price point. Red berry flavors and crisp acid make the Mirabelle a solid food wine with a very similar flavor profile and structure to its big sister.

 
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