Valentine’s day is always a heavy volume wine day in most restaurants and stores. Everyone wants to be sure to bring home that special bottle that is sure to make their special someone’s clothes fall off. February 14th seems to have 2 big categories, either people go for the bubbly or they go for a big bottle of Cab or some other rich, red wine. There is definitely no silver bullet when it comes to having an enjoyable wine experience on Valentine’s day and I would always recommend the same thing as I would any other day: drink what you like. The soon-to-be-Mrs. Sybarite and I both happened to like a bottle of pink bubbles so that is what I decided to pick up while I was at Trader Joe’s. I wasn’t, up until the last few years, a big fan of sparkling wines and found them rather boring. I realize now the folly of my youth. I still certainly don’t reach for them when I am in a “wine” mood (e.g. always) but they are definitely in the batting order of things I like to have once in a while. I was faced with a conundrum while I stood in front of the somewhat limited options for rosé sparklers. Do I get the Mumm which I know is satisfactory and play it safe or do I roll the dice on something I haven’t tried and hope for the best? The problem also was my options for pink bubbles were Veuve Clicquot at around $60, Mumm at around $15, Blason de Bourgogne for $10, or some other swill for $5. I immediately ruled out both the $60 and $5 options. Then there were the aforementioned pair. I gambled. I gambled and I lost. The Blason de Bourgogne Rosé is a Crémant de Bourgogne, or basically sparkling wine from the Burgundy region in France. Burgundy produces great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which are the two grapes traditionally involved in Crémant, Champagne and California sparklers. I know little more than fuck all about French wine but my logic was simple: Burgundy grapes are some of the best in the world for Pinot and Chard. Pinot and Chard go into sparkling. Thus, Burgundy sparkling must have a chance at being decent. I did have some hesitation that a $10 bottle might be garbage but I am aware that there are definitely sleepers out there when it comes to French imports that don’t have a ton of press already surrounding them. Occasionally you can get some great stuff for under $15. This stuff was great if cherry flavor Robitussin is your thing. I just didn’t get the freshness from it that I usually love about rosé bubbles. It had this terrible astringent acidity and this medicinal fruit flavor that was just a total turn off to me. Don’t get me wrong, we drank it. Momma didn’t raise no fool that is going to waste $10. But, if we hadn’t just sat in traffic for 2 and a half hours, we may have not needed to mainline some wine as much as we did when we opened this bottle. After every sip we would glance at each other wincing and reaffirm, “this just really isn’t good.” Good thing we had a solid selection of snacks to stuff our faces with and forget the pain of me ruining our first Valentine’s day as an engaged couple with this dreck. I don’t know what to say other than stay away from this bottle. It is probably fine for a mimosa but to drink straight it leaves a lot to be desired. I realize Trader Joe’s isn’t a store that is focused on wine per say, but I think they could add a couple more options in a few categories and perhaps drop some others that would round out their selection a lot. I hope all of your Valentine’s day wine experiences were a lot better than mine. Note to self: ditch the roses and buy the Veuve.