There’s no better way to celebrate St Valentine’s Day, the day of love, than with a glass or two of indulgent bubbly. Be it Champagne, sparkling wine, Cava or Prosecco, nothing says romance quite like our favourite indulgent tipple does.
We in the UK are fanatical about fizz. In 2018, sales of champagne and sparkling wine collectively, hit a record high of £2.2 billion, an increase of almost 85% compared to 2013 when only £1.2 billion was spent on the same snifter*. And in 2017, The Consortium for the Protection of Prosecco reported that us Brits consumed a third of all Prosecco produced in 2016**. To put that into perspective, that amounted to a staggering 125 million bottles.
Having been a favourite amongst the French nobility since the 1700s, Champagne houses have continued to produce the ever popular and luxurious beverage for centuries. Bollinger was founded in 1829 whilst Dom Perignon was named after the Benedictine monk who made crucially important contributions to the production and quality of the drink during his lifetime of 1638 to 1715.
With nearly 165 billion bottles of bubbly having been sold in Britain over the past twelve months, there’s no sign that 2019 sets to show any signs of slowing down, even with Brexit on the horizon. Whilst Champagne originates solely from the French region from where its name hails, English sparkling wine provides a superb, home-grown alternative. Sparkling wine houses such as Ridgeview, Nyetimber, Wiston and Breaky Bottom are all grown in the South of England on sloping, chalky soil just like that of their cousins from across the Channel. Last year saw more sparkling wine sold in the UK than any previous year to date and the popularity of fizz has helped enormously to bolster the UK wine industry.
Whether you’re potty about Prosecco, crazy for Cava, whimsical about white varieties or roll over for rosé, this year the answer to Valentine’s Day lies in a glass. But just what type of glassware do you plump for when it comes to drinking your beloved bubbly? Leading high street retailer Robert Dyas provide an expert choice in glass and homewares, allowing you to find the perfect vessel of choice to accompany your fizz-filled February 14.
Perhaps the most well-renowned glass of choice for supping champagne is the infamous flute. Tall and elegant, the flute not only looks the part but also helps keep our fizz sparkling. It’s tall shape and narrow opening is designed to retain the drink’s carbonation, due to the reduction of surface area. Not only does the long flute allow the bubbles to travel upwards for longer to create a gorgeous visual display, the more bubbles within your glass means more texture with every sip enjoyed.
Champagne flutes are perfect for a more elegant and traditionally romantic night in. To create a striking impression this Valentine’s Day, treat yourself and your loved one to a RCR Oasis 6-Piece Champagne Glasses Set (£19.99 was £69.99). Crafted from stunning Italian Luxion crystal, these will add sparkle and charm to your home. A sure-fired way to send heart’s a-flutter.
For many, a champagne goblet or coupe as it’s otherwise known, is one favoured by many due to its sophisticated shape and historical significance, having been used in Britain since the 1660s. Most popular during the 20th century, this shape of glass conjures up a timelessly vintage feel and what could be more enduring than love?
For a fun night in with a cheeky champagne cocktail or three, make a goblet glass your perfect partner in crime. If you prefer your bubbles a little bolder, why not opt for these gorgeous RCR Crystal Glassware Tattoo Champagne Goblet Glasses – Set of 6 (£17.99)? Carrying a grand, heavyweight shape, many see the goblet as carrying a larger than life presence, making this glass the perfect accompaniment to serving your Valentine with panache.
For fizz lovers, the fun doesn’t have to stop at a straight drink. Just like Ab Fab’s Patsy and Edie, sometimes their beloved Bollinger champagne just didn’t quite hit the mark, hence their creation of ‘The Stoli-Bolli’. In other words, a glass of Bolli, with a dash of Stolichnaya vodka.
Why not concoct a cocktail together, to really help set the mood? If you’re fantasising about that mini break to Paris, some French 75’s should be on the menu. Reminiscing about your romantic getaway to bella Italia? Indulge yourselves with a Bellini. Why not really spice things up for an altogether flirtier touch with a Sex on the Beach?
Pull out the stops this Valentine’s Day and get set to impress with this Premier Housewares 3 Piece Cocktail Set – Red (£19.99 was £28.49). In both a red and hot pink colourway, you’re bound to set the mood come February 14.
For the expert mixologists amongst you, dare to go bold. The stunning Premier Housewares Rose Gold Bar Set – 7 Piece (£49.99 was £62.99) is perfect for larger parties and includes all of the tools you need to create a cracking cocktail, including a shaker, strainer and whisk. In a beautiful rose gold finish, not only will it act the part, it will it look the part.
Complete your bar with this gorgeous RCR Fusion Martini Glasses and Bowls Set (£24.99 was £49.99). The set includes six martini glasses and two bowls, perfect for serving up party nibbles and adding a touch of elegance and sparkle to any cocktail party, large or small. The only question left to ask is: shaken or stirred?
Home is Where the Heart Is
You’ve got your glassware sorted for the big day, but now the question is, ‘where and how do I keep our all-important bubbles, ice cold?’ Enter the cooler. Whether you require a state-of-the-art refrigerator system or a simple but portable ice bucket, there’s something to suit everyone’s needs. Why not gift one as a Valentine’s present, complete with a bottle or two of their favourite fizz?
For a cooler with class, this stunning Premier Housewares Mother of Pearl Ice Bucket – Stainless Steel (£33.99 was £62.99) will look equally gorgeous at home, in the garden or out and about at picnics. A beautiful gift for Valentine’s Day or anniversaries to remember your special day in style.
If keeping bottles cool is a serious business for you, look no further than the Hostess Wine Cabinet HW40 RWA (£292.99 was £399.99). With a gorgeous black and steel finish and interior light, not only does this look the part, more importantly, it acts the part. Keep up to 40 bottles of fizz chilled between 5 and 10 Celsius at all times and guarantee a superior sip every time you open a bottle.
All that’s left to do pop, fizz, clink. Cheers!