Poppin’ bottles on Valentine’s Day

Allison Goodan

If you haven’t noticed the red, pink and white in every store, Valentine’s Day is back— coming up this Thursday for those of you who usually forget. It is obvious every year that this day plays part in a love/hate relationship.

Some get excited to be lavished, and lavish others, while a few have an extreme distaste for the associated chalky, artificial heart-shaped candy. No matter which side of the fence you are on, this Thursday could be a day for you to appreciate the people who are sometimes taken for granted — along with a taste that is not so chalky…

Although Valentine’s Day is a hugely marketed holiday for U.S. candy and card businesses, there is a reason it sticks around every year.

Admittedly, we are all guilty of putting ourselves before the ones who matter, simply because life can get crazy. We don’t treat our fiancés, parents, significant others and siblings with the love they truly deserve every day of the year. So whether you will be with friends, yourself or a loved one this Thursday night, you should take time to appreciate the small things.

Small things = Champagne bubbles. Clear the clutter of your apartment, dim the lights and light some candles. You can feel special all on your own as you pop the cork off a cold bottle of Champagne.

Make sure you have an actual Champagne flute as it will feel more authentic than drinking it from a red SOLO cup. Relax as you sip the celebratory beverage, and look at your glass as half full. In the case that you will be in a dorm or are under 21 years old, get some sparkling apple juice and just pretend.

If you won’t be alone on Valentine’s Day, Champagne goes great with anything sweet, so save it for dessert. If you plan to eat out, it would be special to skip dessert and bring your date home to chocolate, cheesecake, cherries or strawberries along with two Champagne flutes and a chilled bottle of Champagne. You can even buy an inexpensive Champagne holder to fill with ice and keep the Champagne cold while on the table.

But, there are so many types of Champagne — which one to try?

Well, true Champagne runs about $40 and up. This is because it goes through a time consuming process that makes it more expensive, and has to come from the actual wine region of Champagne in France.

If you have not saved up to afford this, don’t fret, there are other options.

Some domestic champagne goes through the same bottling process as true Champagne and runs from $20 to $40 a bottle. Then you have the cheapest Champagne which has carbon dioxide injected to cause the bubbles. These run anywhere from $5 to $15. This is the majority of what you will see in liquor stores.

True Champagnes are not sweet, but dry. Brut Champagne is truest to the taste. If you want something that isn’t quite as dry, go for a Prosecco. It is very drinkable and will still pair with a sweet dessert.

However, if you want a sweet Champagne, go for an Asti or something labeled ‘sweet cuvee’ or ‘sweet rose’ (a rose will be pink). But remember, sweet Champagnes will not pair well with sweet foods, so they are better drank on their own or after dessert.

So tonight or tomorrow, make sure to get yourself a nice bottle and chill in the fridge — not the freezer, you don’t want it to explode. Don’t forget the glasses, or any food you would like to go with it. For the Valentine’s Day haters out there, you aren’t buying any of the marketed Valentine’s stuff, so why not? Treat yourself, a friend or the one you love and make them feel cherished.