Hearts and flowers may be fine for Valentine’s Day, but don’t forget the wine. Here are three bottles guaranteed to inspire you on February 14, whether you’re pairing with chocolate, planning a romantic evening, or celebrating yourself with a blissful sip solo.
If there’s one day a year when chocolate seems obligatory, Valentine’s Day is it. A fortified wine such as Port would be a delightful pairing, but another worthy choice is Amarone. Autochthonous grapes (such as corvina, corvinone and rondinella) grown in Italy’s Valpolicella region are the building blocks for Amarone. A singular style of wine, it’s made using partially dried grapes, which results in a concentrated elixir. The symphony of dried cherries and blueberries, fine spice and floral notes in Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella 2013 is sure to seduce you. Its opulent weight and mocha finish make it perfect for chocolate.
Who cares if sparkling wine is cliché on Valentine’s Day—it’s still one of the world’s most romantic drinks. And while any sparkling wine conveys amour, perhaps none suit this annual love fête better than Champagne. The majority of pinot noir, chardonnay and meunier grapes that make up Champagne Bollinger’s Special Cuvee Brut come from top vineyards in the Champagne region of France. An outstanding fizz, it is creamy and complex with notes of bread dough, roasted nuts, charred lemons and whipped honey.
Open the bottle with reverence if you want to impress your date: peel away the foil and remove the cage, then place your hand over the cork and grasp it. While angling the bottle up away from anyone, gently turn the bottle (not the cork). Stay in control, you will feel the cork loosen and slide gently from the bottle with a soft pop. Forego the flute; pour your bubbly into the shallow bowl of a delicate Riedel Veritas coupe and be enchanted by tiny bubbles dancing in your glass.
Romance is not mandatory; going stag on Valentine’s Day is a splendid way to celebrate yourself. Your wine choices are limitless, but why not look to southern France?
The Languedoc region is known for producing Mediterranean-influenced red wines, but in fact it now makes more rosé than neighbouring Provence. The award for prettiest-bottle-on-the-shelf goes to Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses 2018. This pastel pink blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault delivers tangy red cherries, kumquats, and dried roses. It is juicy, charming and dry—best of all, it’s all yours.
Find more sipping ideas in Food and Drink.