A Glass of Red to Make Valentine’s Day Truly Sparkle

A spritzy sparkling wine made unexpectedly from a quite robust grape.

Argentina is justly famous for Malbec, the inky varietal with bold tannins that’s perfect with a great steak.

The family-owned Reginato Winery of Mendoza makes a version that is sure to turn any day into a celebration. That’s because it’s bubbly.

Malbec is more commonly made into still wines. That’s what makes Reginato Winery’s Sparkling Rosé of Malbec so fun and unexpected.

It’s made in the same method as Prosecco, with the secondary fermentation taking place in a stainless steel tank rather than in the bottle, itself, as in the methode champenoise style of true Champagne.

I had a chance to try a sample recently. Made from 100 percent Malbec grapes, it boasts a vivid cranberry color, and notes of strawberry and rhubarb. It’s crisp, dry and with enough body to be enjoyed not only as an aperitif, but with a substantial main course.  I had it alongside prime rib and it proved an ideal match.

At $17 a bottle, it’s a perfect way to inject something both sparkling and red into Valentine’s Day — without breaking the bank.

It’s available from Vine Connections, an importer of boutique Argentine wines.

Winner of Last Week’s Contest: In my most recent Food Gal contest, I asked you tell me which chef you’d most want to apprentice with. Winner will receive a free copy of the new paperback edition of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentices” (Free Press) by Lisa Abend, which goes on sale tomorrow.

Congrats to:

Joan, who wrote, “The chef I’d most want to apprentice with is Julia Child. Yes, I know she’s no longer with us…but she is in many ways. I got her first cookbook ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ shortly after college…but never used the book until much later. Now it’s in my cookbook collection-the most worn and with stained pages. But I fell in love with her on television with her unpretentious love of cooking good food. I have two signed books by her: my hubby got a parking ticket at the Cambridge Coop while waiting for a personalized signed copy of  ‘The Way to Cook’ and her last book “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom,” where as she she entered Sur La Table in Los Gatos in 2011 I had tears in my eyes…and when I told her the story about my hubby getting the parking ticket she said, ‘Tell him I think he’s great.’ So I imagine myself with the exuberant Julia as I would work with her saying ‘Mon Dieu, Jeanne (my French name)’ and showing me the correct procedure for whatever. But we would get along fabulously for she would say ‘I always cook with wine…sometimes I add it to the food.’ I adore Julia Child and boy, would it have been a privilege to share time in the kitchen with her.”

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