Valentine’s Day is almost here, and whether we’re feeling the love or defiantly wearing all black, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a drink in our hands.
While some of us are going with a traditional glass of bubbly or are sipping something pink, others will be seeking out more out-of-the-box options to pair with their holiday meals.
Whether you’re already in the holiday spirit, are a Valentine’s Day hater, or are partial to Galentine’s Day, the VinePair team is here to provide inspo for all your Valentine’s drinking needs. From romantic classics, to intriguing dessert pairings, here’s what we’ll be drinking this Feb. 14.
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“This Valentine’s Day, I am going to continue the tradition of cooking a lovely meal and opening a bottle of wine Naomi and I got on one of our adventures. I never know which bottle we’re going to open until that night, but it’s always a great excuse to remind ourselves how much we love traveling together.” —Adam Teeter, co-founder & CEO
“My partner and I used to get steak frites and a bottle of house red from our favorite French restaurant every Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t the most sophisticated pairing — or place — but it was perfect. The restaurant closed a few years ago, so we try to recreate the experience at home with bistro steaks, a nice Bordeaux, and fries from McDonald’s.” —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor
“If I could be anywhere, eating and drinking anything, it would be at La Fleur en Papier Doré in Brussels, Belgium. On the plate are meatballs and potatoes, and in my hand is the tallest tulip glass of Hopus Ale, a Belgian blonde from Brasserie Lefebvre in Wallonia. Hopus is a stunner in the glass and on the palate. It pours a sparkling gold and crowns itself with a few impressive inches of foam. It’s hoppy, of course, and strong, with ester-y spiced fruit notes on the nose and snappy finish. And, as the story goes, Paul Lefebvre developed the recipe in secret for his wedding — it was originally called Cuvée des Mariés, or blend of bride and groom.” —Cat Wolinski, senior editor
“This Valentine’s Day, I’ll be cooking up my boyfriend’s favorite dinner, linguine with clams. Since the sauce calls for a splash of Pinot Grigio, we’ll eat some and drink the rest. And for dessert, a dry Lambrusco paired with sour candy (don’t knock it ‘til you try it!).” —Katie Brown, associate editor
“Romance is subjective, right? The key to my heart is delicious, crispy fried chicken and a bottle of Champagne. Taittinger is my go-to for such occasions, but a bottle (or two) of Crémant will easily suffice in a pinch.” —Jeff Licciardello, director of marketing
“I’m a huge sushi person. Even though it’s usually cold and you want to be all romantic and cozy, I just feel like sushi is a great thing to eat for any date night, whether it’s a first date (on Valentines Day — good for those people!), or your fifth Valentine’s Day with your long-term significant other. I love to pair it with any fruity and light sake-based cocktail. It’s the perfect complement to any type of sushi.” —Danielle Grinberg, art director
“On Valentine’s Day, I prefer a higher-ABV cocktail. Female-owned-and-operated Harridan makes a smooth vodka for the perfect Dirty Martini. This February, I hope to pair it with a big, fat, diamond necklace.” —Emma Cranston, editorial intern
“I spent the evening of last year’s Valentine’s Day drinking particularly bad airport Martinis at JFK [airport] before boarding a flight to Italy. I’ll honor that combination this year by making (better) Martinis, and pairing them with homemade white pizza.” —Tim McKirdy, staff writer
“I love a cozy Italian pasta dish in the winter, so my ideal Valentine’s Day dinner pairing would be a flavorful pasta and delicious red wine. A pappardelle with mushrooms and truffle sauce paired with a bottle of Barolo is at the top of my list. Hailing from Piedmont, Italy, the Ciabot Berton Barolo ‘La Morra’ will stand up nicely to the truffle-centric dish!” —Jenny Riddell, director of brand partnerships & events
“This Valentine‘s Day, I will be eating some sushi and drinking Bartenura Moscato. I like this pairing, since they are both pretty light and you don’t want to be too bloated after dinner. Bartenura’s Moscato is really sweet, so it’s not something that I would drink frequently. I enjoy it once in a while and drinking something sweet during Valentine’s Day seems like an appropriate thing to do.” —Gerry Selian, junior designer