With Valentine’s Day around the corner, there’s no better time to splurge on a deliciously decadent indulgence for two, and that’s precisely what you’ll find in this elegant bottle bedecked with roses. Sweet sparkling reds are quite rare, but have been a specialty of the village of Acqui Terme in Italy’s Piedmont region for centuries. Located near the city of Asti, which specializes in sweet and frothy moscatos, Acqui Terme is known both for its famous spas and for a local grape called brachetto that makes delicious wine with a vivid magenta hue. Few red grapes can make pleasing sparklers, since the traits needed for fine dry red wines aren’t helpful, but brachetto is ideally suited. Not only does it have a gorgeously floral perfume that gives its wines a heady scent of violets in bloom, it is very low in the astringent antioxidant compounds that give stronger red wines their backbone of mouth-drying tannins. As a result, it’s rare to find brachettos made in any style other than sweet and bubbly, as with this impeccable example. Its flavors of raspberry and strawberry are boosted by the natural grape sugar preserved in this uncommon wine-making process, yielding a wine that resembles an alcoholic cherry Wishniak. For a memorable after-dinner treat, try it as a float with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Banfi “Rosa Regale” Brachetto d’Acqui, $18.99. (Regularly $21.99; sale price through Feb. 25.) PLCB Item No. 6239