For a beautiful pink color and lively sparkling taste, try Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose. Made of 100 percent pinot noir using the Champagne method, the sparkling wine is one of Martha's favorites; and at about $20 per bottle, it offers a great value for its quality. She keeps a stock in her cellar for celebrations.
While rose wines are usually looked upon as mostly simple wines, Joseph Bastianich's Rosato, made from the refosco grape of northern Italy, has a complexity that belies its under-$15 price tag. It's also a terrific food-pairing rose, with great acidity, interesting herbal notes, and gorgeous aromas of plums and strawberries.
Made from 100 percent pinot noir, that most food-friendly of red grapes, Adelsheim's 2008 rose ($19) can easily take you from savory first-course bites, with its undertones of thyme and earth, to main-course fare like fish, grilled fowl, and even roasted pork or herb-tossed pasta.
You might want to save this for toasting between you and your honey, but once you get a whiff of Pommery's Springtime Champagne Brut Rose ($50), your sense memory will be forever imprinted with its heady notes of raspberries and vanilla, and will feel the tingly tickle of its gorgeous mousse and creamy texture.
What is it about poultry that is so lovely with fruits? Whether it's a squeeze of a fresh orange on chicken or a roasted duck breast draped in rich raspberry sauce, you can't go wrong with a vivid rose sparkler like Domaine Carneros Cuvee de la Pompadour, with its notes of pink grapefruits, strawberries, and melons.
You may have a guest or two who roll their eyes at the notion of anything pink in the glass. For those who boo at the blush, pour a vibrant, deep-ruby glass of Marilyn Remark's 2008 Rose de Saignee ($22), made from mostly grenache and spicy syrah. It's a red-lover's rose!
You wouldn't think your florist would have any competition, but when you smell the incredible aroma of fresh rose petals that comes from Chile's Montes Cherub Rose of Syrah ($17), you might think you've stepped into a rose garden. Coupled with its plum notes and sweet-tart flavors, this vibrant wine is never a wallflower.