Valentine wine

Valentine’s Day is a smorgasbord of schmaltz, guilt trip, flowers, chocolate, kitschy cards, and romance. We’ve got wine for that.

All-in-one strategy: roses, wine-friendly chocolates, heart-shaped card, sparkling rosé wine.

The roses and rosé play may earn a chuckle, maybe more (hope springs eternal). Sparkling pairs with chocolate, especially darker chocolates with higher percentages of cocoa. Match sparkling sweetness to chocolate sweetness—go with extra dry, sec, or demi-sec. Doux is sweetest, maybe too cloying for most tastes, not to mention hard to find.

Bad news for you bargain basement blokes: this is an inappropriate time to pop plastic corks from bottom-shelf buys. Go with true Champagne or quality sparkling. Spend around $20, more likely much more, to pour something meaningful. Surely she is worth that once a year.

You can avoid budget-busting bubbly by creating a sparkling cocktail called a “Kir.” Generally, Kirs are five-to-nine parts sparkling wine and one part liqueur. The type of liqueur determines the name; the liqueur will cost $20-plus, but will last a long time and make a lot of Kirs.

• Kir Royale: Champagne, crème de cassis (blackcurrent liqueur).

• Kir Pétillant: sparkling wine, crème de cassis.

• Kir Impérial: Champagne, raspberry liqueur (Chambord).

• Kir Pêche: Champagne, peach liqueur.

You can substitute Spanish cava, Italian prosecco/spumante, or other sparklings, but announcing the concoction with a French flourish enhances the romantic effect. You make the call depending on your romantic ambitions. And hers.

By the way, guys, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Just so you know.

Tasting notes:

• Robert Mondavi Private Selection Coastal Crush Red 2011. Very ripe strawberry, raspberry; chocolate; easy drinking Valentine value if bubbles aren’t your thing; pair with chocolate caramels. $11

• Gruet Rosé. Pleasing New Mexico sparkling; strawberry, raspberry, cherry; fun-loving value. $16

• Schramsberg Brut Rosé. Wonderful tiny bubbles; lemon custard, apple, tangerine. $30

Moet & Chandon Rosé Imperial. Strawberries, plum, full body, sharp acidity. $64

Last round: Florists and greeting card makers invented Valentine’s Day because love isn’t quite complicated enough as it is.