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Bedell Cellars sparkling rosé. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Once upon a time, Valentine’s Day for me meant reaching for the liquor store’s bottom shelf, grabbing a sticky-sweet bottle of André pink champagne and suffering through the next-day headache that went with it.

Luckily for me, those days are over and I have graduated to more sophisticated (and easier on the palate) bottles of pink bubbly.

In honor of V-day, our wine of the week is the light and dry Bedell Cellars 2013 sparkling rosé. We sampled this last week when it was served with the dessert course at chef Noah Schwartz’s dinner at the James Beard House and have not stopped thinking about it since.

This copper-tinged pink wine — made of 50 percent cabernet franc grapes, 40 percent cabernet sauvignon grapes and 10 percent merlot — is refreshingly dry yet has a fruit-driven flavor.

“It’s done in a very fresh, fruit-forward style. A lot of red berries, strawberries and pomegranates,” Bedell winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich said during a recent vineyard visit. “And it’s meant to be enjoyed with someone you love.”

The wine received both a gold medal at the New York Wine & Food classic and an 88-point rating from Wine Enthusiast in November.

“Whiffs of exotic spice lend flair to berry and cherry aromas on this sparkling blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot,” writes Wine Enthusiast critic Anna Lee Iijima. “Exuberantly pétillant, it’s fresh with cranberry acidity and tart red-plum and cherry flavor.”

The bottle features a landscape painting by contemporary artist April Gornik, a shoreline portrait that pays homage to the North Fork’s maritime history.

We will be cracking open a bottle of this for a quiet evening at home this Valentine’s Day. Pair with, well, almost anything.

The wine retails for $40 in the tasting room.

Bedell Cellars is located at 36225 Main Road in Cutchogue. 


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