Bubble Bubble Crimson Trouble: Plus a bonus pink or two

Here’s the thing: If you are attached and drinking bubbles, a red bubbly sings romance—it’s bubbles! It is red like a heart! And if you are single, sparkling red is also goth-ily un-romantic—blooooood red bubbles for those eschewing attachment. Also, finding good red bubbles can feel like a bit of a minefield, so totally love-adjacent. Let’s get INTO some ruby brews. Plus a couple of super deep vibrant sparkling rosés because I could not help myself, and pink is the highest form of goth. Back to the reds tho. The subtle brutality of their tannins contrasting with the plush of the bub is a whole different world. I love red sparklings for their play between ripe dripping-with-juice sensual fruit against enlivening froth against the drying wick of those tannins that places you in a liminal spot between hedonism and decorum. I kept my reviews for this article to dry to dry-ish red bubbles. I love a nice Brachetto but those are dessert. I’ll cover dessert bubbles another time. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Now for the essential Valentine’s Day pick: Shower wine. I went with the Sosie, a deep pink sparkler from California. After all it was a “Bare Necessity”. More on that at the end of this! Now to my other effervescent love picks: LOIRE Pineau d’Aunis is not the most recognized grape out of the Loire Valley, but it lends itself handsomely to this sparkling wine! 2009 Domaine Gigou “La Bulle Sarthoise” Demi-Sec Pineau d’Aunis If you don’t like earth, then this may not be for you. It has savory, verging on barnyard vibes, but the lift makes it all elegant, a ballroom dancer covered in mud. This is a good prelude to being dirty. ITALY: LAMBRUSCO Lambrusco, how do I love thee? So many ways, provided you are well made. I have adored slightly sweet pink ones but…as I mentioned, for this article we are looking to the reds that are dry. As is my wit when I am not so overwhelmed with love for a wine that I lose it and express raw emotion. I’ll do that now. Please excuse the realness. I truly think good wine could make a better person, as love can. I love good Lambrusco and good goddess if we can share that joy? At least for a moment the world is better. Barbolini “Lancillotto” Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Rich and ripe. Prunes over plums but fresh black cherries are in there too. Acid is there, tannins are hangers-on but they are useful groupies, not sycophants. Balsamic notes dance in the background and I cannot help but wonder if it is the fact that the family also makes balsamic vinegar but…all in all this “Lancillotto” aka Lancelot could be a savior on a bad day. Cleto Chiarle Lambrusco del Fondatore di Sorbara Secco Is it deep pink? Or is it light red? Not sure but damn is it dry. It is raspberry vinegar and flowers and pebbles. So, like a picnic salad in the 90’s. It is SO lean and so good. And full of knowledge. This wine knows how to be smart and balanced but there is a hint of crunchy pseudo-hippy vibe to it. AUSTRALIA: SPARKLING SHIRAZ I hear tell from my wine friend in Australia that Australia is hiding many of its gems from us. We don’t deserve them. Maybe. Of the things I could source in the States I’m giving you my two faves. The Chook Sparkling Shiraz McLaren Vale plus Langhorne Creek gives us a wine not as ripe, but with more elegance. Slightly less in flavor intensity that you think of Shiraz being but the texture is magnificent. Subtle anise—or is it tarragon? And that texture? So plush it burbles blueberry jam. It is for me. 2016 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz My bargain buy of it all. The plushest fuchsia bubs. Love that. Smooth af. Jammy and there is just a tiny tiny tiny but pleasing uppercut of black olive. It feels like the sweatshirt that is so easy to wear but looks cute too. It’s a chummy bubbler. THE PINK, THE BONUS PINK I couldn’t help it. Because nothing says darkness like “my soul is so dark I make a sparkly pink drink look wicked”. Parigot & Richard Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé Brut Full disclosure I have had their full on red bubbles but couldn’t locate them but the sommafia (the Los Angeles wine people are squad goals, I must say) came through with the rosé for me and it is bomb. A Pinot Noir libation, it has hints of every red fruit I know on it, plus a whiff of brett and white pepper to sauce it up. Fun, plush, and discerning. This wine will judge you then give you a hug. 2018 Sosie Wines “Bare Necessity” Vivio Vineyard-Bennett Valley Sparkling Rosé Sosie Wines has been a repeat winner of mine. This particular wine is a deep fleshy pink that is a tart pink grapefruit mixed with watermelon and herbal eddies in blushing streams in the mouth. It is so good. A floral spice undercurrent and also a hint of currant. And bitterness I adore. And then there is a chalk. Like a strawberry shortcake flavored chalk. Make sense? Probably not. That’s ok. Love conquers all. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Oscars Gold Wine Winter Rosé Wonderland Winter Comes: Solstice Libations Super Natural: RAW WINE More Than Green Grapes Ellen in LalaLand Take One: Nighttime at Wally’s Wine Wine is Virgo, Virgo Wine You can also listen to Ellen's podcast with Shaughn Buchholz, The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! With Ronnie Pessin Wine Situation Final Five! With Dana Farner Wine Situation Final Five! With Caroline Liem

Paringa Estate

Sparkling Shiraz 2016

Very good value and totally comfy wine. Pretty to look at and not challenging on the palate which is not to say it doesn’t pack a berry-rich punch with the barest hint at savory under all. Plush dry tannins. Plush bod. And jam but make it dry. — 4 years ago

"Odedi", Scott and 13 others liked this
Bob McDonald

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@Ellen Clifford Is that from the Mornington Peninsula Victoria, Ellen?
Ellen Clifford

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It’s from the state of South Australia! Phylloxera-free. But it did not specify a subregion...


Lancillotto Secco Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro

Named for Lancelot! And frankly...the acidic tannic, and alcoholic strength of this make me feel it has the capacity to rescue moi from this recent bull we call life. Oh tasting? It’s medium plus on acid tannins alcohol and also fun. You get prunes. You get black cherries. You get balsamic vinegar but it’s not too...serious. It enlivens and awakens to what a good Lambrusco can be and so help me wine...this is a good Lambrusco. — 4 years ago

Daniel P., Serge and 13 others liked this

Cleto Chiarli

Sorbara Lambrusco del Fondatore 2018

This toes the line between light red and dark pink...acidic and piercing but it has...knee pads. Softness and a bite all at once. Flowers and raspberry vinegar and stones. Fabulous. — 4 years ago

Severn, Sharon and 15 others liked this

The Chook Winery

The Chook Sparkling Shiraz

Blueberry jam, herbs and fun froth! — 4 years ago

Neil, Paul and 13 others liked this


🐔 Cute label! Nice review!🍷
Ellen Clifford

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@Trixie yes, it’s a cute little chicky for a tasty wine!

Domaine Gigou

La Bulle Sarthoise Méthode Traditionelle Demi-Sec Pineau d'Aunis Rosé 2009

This is not the rosé! Hopefully that gets corrected shortly. How much love I have for red bubbles. My goth heart jetés. This is all dried herb drawer and dried jam jar. Like seriously the scent of an empty black currant jam jar. There is a hint of sour dairy beguiling me behind. Labeled as demi sec but feels quite dry to me. The tannins have a friendly grip like the soft side of a Velcro enclosure. — 4 years ago

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Vasanth Balakrishnan

Vasanth Balakrishnan

Your last sentence was a brilliant simile to describe the tannins.


Bare Necessity Vivio Vineyard Sparkling Rosé 2018

Love the Sosie! Watermelons and white peppercorns that almost feel floral all dance. Beautifully rich pink with an herbal undertow and hint of bitter. Pretty perfect pink one. — 4 years ago

Severn, Sharon and 13 others liked this

Parigot & Richard

Parigot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Pinot Noir Rosé

Parigot is the stuff. I was looking for the red sparkling I’d had once upon a time but was super okay to settle for this (albeit if you have a source for the red TELL ME)! Red berry blend (there are hints of it all—strawberry raspberry currant) plus watermelon freshness and this slight earthy funk that—-is there a whiff of brett on it?! Slight white pepper and some greens that are both bitter and sweet. It’s a hug and a loving smack all at once. — 4 years ago

Paul, Daniel and 14 others liked this
Shawn Thompson

Shawn Thompson

Sounds delicious!
Ellen Clifford

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@Shawn Thompson i can assure you it was!