Yes… I realize posting a blog actually on Valentine’s Day is a little last minute. But what can I tell you, better late than never? Whether it is my skeptical view of these “Hallmark” holidays or just having a little less time these days… it just didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, any reason to tell the one you love how much they mean to you is absolutely something to celebrate. But the materialistic hoopla that follows it is not my favorite aspect of any holiday.
What IS my favorite part of Valentine’s Day is that it usually involves a romantic candlelit dinner at home or a quality meal at your favorite restaurant. So while I am sure you already have made your dinner plans for the evening, the least I can do is offer up a couple of good wine recommendations for your celebration.
First things first…Champagne! Typically I would say there is no reason to spend the extra dough on Champagne and just stick with a sparkling from California or a nice Prosecco. However there is something about Valentine’s Day that screams Champagne. Maybe it is the romanticism that comes along with region, or the yeast and acidity that can only be captured by the traditional method of making Champagne, but sometimes there is no substitute. My favorite is always Piper Heidsieck Brut Cuvee ($30-40), although the most romantic bottle of bubbly has to be a vintage Perrier- Jouet Fleur de Champagne ($140-160) if you’re feeling extra saucy!
If you want to stay on the value side and are looking for a good red, then the 2007 Red Splash blend from St. Francis is a perfect way to follow in the Valentine’s Day motif. At around $10-15 a bottle, this is one of the more original concoctions produced in Sonoma. It’s a fun blend that includes Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Zin and a couple of other varietals. Lots of supple fruit and spice makes it a perfect pairing to everything from pizza and pasta to steak and potatoes.
A lot of wine bloggers put the “Bitch” Grenache wine in their top Valentine selections for all of those V-Day haters out there. While that is a great value wine option, I am going to buck the trend and vie for Hope instead of spite. After all, if we can’t find Hope for love on Valentine’s Day then when can we?!? This makes the 2009 Austin Hope Grenache fromPaso Robles the perfect pick for your romantic evening. Not only is it loaded with ripe and concentrated fruit, but the aromas of rose petals (seriously!) will keep you in that Valentine’s Day spirit. Plus it’s perfect for your roasted lamb or veal dish.
However you decide to celebrate and whatever wine you choose for your meal, keep in mind today is for celebrating the ones you love and to make sure you let them know. Flowers, candy, presents… they are all well and good. But without genuine emotion and passion behind them, they just don’t mean the same.