Ahh Valentine’s Day, the perfect night to break out a sexy bottle of wine to enjoy with your special someone. Whether it’s your sixteenth year together or just the six-month mark, there’s no better way to impress your mate than with the perfect wine for the occasion. So this year, skip the over-crowded pre-fixe restaurant scene and go for a more intimate setting featuring delicious vino! Whatever you decide, from bubbles and chocolate covered strawberries to a four-course homemade meal, these easy-to-find bottles will pair perfectly.
Nothing says I love you better than pink bubbles! Both beautiful in the glass and on the palate, this wine makes an ideal aperitif to get the evening started, or a nightcap to round out the perfect night. Made in the traditional method, this domestic sparkling wine from New Mexico is every bit as piquant and fresh as many Champagnes, with tight bubbles and zippy acidity. Kissed with fruit flavors, it’s a fun match with creamy cheeses and anything berry-flavored — think chocolate covered strawberries or berry cheesecake bites!
This one is for you die-hard white wine drinkers. Sometimes the sexiest thing can be fresh, clean and uncomplicated, which is exactly what you get from this blend of white Rhone grapes from iconic California winemaker Randall Grahm. Those of you who are breaking out that fool-proof roast chicken or pork chop recipe to seduce your hunny this year will find the ideal match in this bottle with minerally goodness, ripe fruit and just the right amount of complexity.
The name practically says it all…this bottle is my quintessential sexy time wine, with its seductively smooth mouthfeel and rich chocolaty flavors. Grenache, Mourvedre and Petit Sirah integrate perfectly with deep flavors of cherries, berries and hints of peppery spice. This wine will equally impress alongside steak au poivre, a spread of artisanal chocolates or as the main voluptuous event.
Once the most popular beverage of the new world, these days Madeira is too often relegated to the back burner, and not for good reason! While Valentine’s Day may not be the typical time to try new things, this fortified wine from its namesake island off the coast of Portugal is arguably the perfect wine. Rich and warming, it will keep the chill of winter at bay while enhancing the flavors of roasted nuts, strong cheeses and white chocolate by the fireside. Go for bottles that feature the Sercial and Boal varieties for dryer styles, and Malmsey if you like it on the sweet side. The best part: this is the one type of wine that never goes bad, no matter how long it’s open.
Tess Rose Lampert has been a long time lover of travel and international food and beverage cultures. She currently works as a beverage educator and writer based in New York City. Visit www.PalateTrip.com to learn more.