Champagne is, of course, a popular beverage for Valentine’s Day, but people too often make the mistake of trying to drink it with dessert. Sadly, brut and extra-dry Champagne and sparkling wine generally clash with sweet stuff because the wines simply have too much acidity.
A far better choice with dessert is moscato d’Asti, the lightly sweet and gently bubbly wine from northwestern Italy. The Saracco moscato is an exemplary – and affordable – example. The wine is very floral and aromatic, with sweetish flavors of orange, orange blossom and citrus, balanced by enough brightness to keep it from being cloying. The light effervescence keeps things festive, and the alcohol is low at 6 percent. It’s also reasonably priced, at around $15.
I’m certainly not suggesting that you forgo the Champagne – I look for any excuse to pop a cork — but drink it on its own or perhaps with oysters or other shellfish.