St Valentine’s Day and Champagne are synonymous. On the official Champagne website, Champagne is described as having Body, Spirit, Soul and ‘Heart’.
A wine cannot truly be said to have a heart but……. In the case of Champagne we can make an exception. It is a wine inextricably linked to the greatest, happiest moments of our life.
The whispering noise made while opening the bottle is sometimes named; ‘le soupir amoureux’ (loving whisper).
My ‘Coup de Cœur’ Champagnes for St Valentine :
Billecart-Salmon, Brut rosé
This is easily the best rosé champagne in the world.
Very pale onion skin robe, with subtle aromas of wild strawberries. Very very fine mousse, Elegance, finesse, charm – an ethereal moment of pure, unadulterated pleasure.
Larmandier Bernier , ‘Latitude’, ‘Extra-Brut, Blanc de Blancs
I discovered this magnificent champagne at a wineshop in Dublin and have been addicted ever since. When asked what my ‘death row’ meal would be, a lingering bath in this exceptional champagne.
Delicate mousse, with aromas of hazelnut and brioche. Lovely rich palate, full of flavour, and very more-ish. Free glass of this champagne at the Cave on St Valentine’s Day, if you use the code word : ‘loving whisper’.
St. Valentine’s Story
Valentine lived in Rome during the third century whilst Rome was ruled by the much hated Emperor Claudius. In his effort to recruit men for his army, he introduced a new law forbidding marriage in the thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. Valentine, a priest, kept on performing marriage ceremonies secretly, but was caught, and thrown into jail under the punishment of death. Whilst in jail, many young people visited him, throwing flowers and notes to his window, wanting to express their love.
One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit him and they would sit and talk for hours. On the day, Valentine was to die, he left his friend a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “ Love from your Valentine”. He died on February 14, 296 A.D.