Rose Sparkling Wine: Think Pink for Valentine's Day

FRESNO, Calif.

At this wine bar, the owner says sales of rosé sparkling wine are on the rise.

It's called champagne if it's from the champagne region of France. Otherwise, it's sparkling wine.

So what makes it pink? The skins of the red grapes are left to soak briefly before pressing, resulting in the color and additional red berry and spice flavors. This can also be achieved by adding a little red wine.

Consumer reports just looked at 16 bottles of sparkling rosé wine, costing from $12 a bottle all the way up to more than 60. The expert tasters weighed many factors.

"They evaluate the individual attributes, like sweetness and complexity and balance, and they put it together and come up with an overall score," Adam Kaplan said.

The bubbles are also an important part of the tests.

"What you're looking for is a lot of small bubbles that really bring the flavors into the palate," Kaplan said.

So small bubbles, and more of them, make for a better wine. You also want a wine with bubbles that linger.

It turns out two $12 sparkling wines came out on top, doing better than a $64 bottle!

The first, De Bortoli Emeri Pink Moscato, has a vivid, mouth-filling, fruity style balanced with some sweetness. The Korbel Brut Rosé has well-balanced citrus, pear, and apple flavors and also a slight sweetness.

No matter which sparkling wine you choose, consumer reports says once you pop the cork tilt the glass and pour the wine gently along the side. That way you'll preserve the most bubbles.

If you want to skip the pink and go with traditional sparkling wine, consumer reports has two to recommend. Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut and Mumm Napa Brut Prestige both rated very good and will cost you less than $20.

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