1. Food

Valentine's Day Wines

By

Wine and romance...they often go hand in hand. From fancy Valentine's Day Dinner reservations to something a little simpler like wine and roses, or pairing a round of chocolate with a classy glass of vino, Cupid claims some serious turf when it comes to wine for Valentine's. Maybe it's the anticipation of exchanging winter weather for the warmer sparks of spring, or the easy-going food pairing versatility, maybe it's simply the color, but rosé wines (with and without bubbles) often top my list of best Valentine's Day wine finds. Sweeter styles, from Bordeaux's Sauternes to Portugal's best fortified wines, also tend to make their mark on Valentine's Day wine selections.

Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2005 (France) $49

Chateau Guiraud

It's not everyday that you get to crack open a Sauternes, a delicious dessert wine from Bordeaux, made primarily from the white wine grapes of Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc. However, Valentine's Day is a great excuse to sample this sweet treat. Chateau Guiraud's Sauternes brings lovely honeyed citrus fruit, wrapped in sweet vanilla spice and creamy, full-bodied layers of fat tropical fruit appeal to the table. Pair with anything from Roquefort cheese to custards, fruit tortes and cherry or apple cobblers.

Freixenet’s Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut (Spain) $18

Freixenet

This is a lovely sparkling Rosado, brimming with the ripe aromas of raspberry and cherry fruit. On the palate red fruit premiers buffered by bubbles and balanced with optimized acidity. There is plenty of class in this glass and at only $18 a bottle, it would make for a great Valentine’s Day wine find.

Montes Cherub Rosé (Chile) $12

Montes Winery
For more “pink” Valentine’s Day wine options, consider the 2012 Montes Cherub Rose, made from 100% Syrah grapes. If ever there was a wine made for Valentine's Day - this would be it! For starters Montes Cherub is decidedly pink, adorned with a chubby cherub on the label (and the name) and it's downright delicious. Given that "built-in" rosé food-pairing versatility, this is a wine that will pair well with an assortment of Valentine's Day dinner options.

Lamberti Rosé Spumante NV (Italy) $12

Lamberti
The Lamberti Rose Spumante NV is a light-hearted wine from bubbly start to lean finish. Flowers and fruit take center stage and make for an engaging sparkling wine experience. Pair it with strawberries, sushi, smoked salmon or caviar.

Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti 2011 (Italy) $12

Frescobaldi

Italians have a long legacy of love, from Verona’s Romeo and Juliet to Venice’s famed Casanova, there’s no doubt that they’ve got it going on when it comes to amore! To satisfy the search for an Italian red wine this Valentine's Day, look no further than this classic Chianti from Frescobaldi; full of Sangiovese's fresh florals, plum mixed with red cherry flavor and good bit of warm spice, this medium-bodied wine enjoys balance and well-woven tannins. At a mere $12 a pop and enjoying wide distribution, this particular wine from Tuscany is a winner with aged cheese (think Parmesan), tomato-based sauces and a variety of sausages.

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Red Label 2008 (Hungary) $40

Royal Tokaji Wine Company

Another famous dessert wine, this time from Hungary.  This particlular Tokaji is the rich, full-flavored epitomy of Notting Hill's "apricots soaked in honey" with a nutty nuance playing in the background.  Stunning from start to finish and priced for everyone to experience.  Pair with creme brulee, chocolate delights, and foie gras.

Banfi’s Rosa Regale Brachetto 2012 (Italy) $24

Banfi

Banfi's Rosa Regale is always a welcome Valentine wine.  Not only does it bring the day's color themes to the table in a vibrant rendition, it is an amazing accompaniment to all things chocolate (the the darker the better, in my opinion).  This bright pink wine from Italy's well-loved Piedmont region has a devoted following. It is a red sparkling wine that is sweet and subtle with the lush flavors of ripe raspberry and juicy strawberry. Consider giving this wine a run with chocolate-based desserts, fresh fruit and pecan pie.

Menage a Trois Rose 2012 $10

Menage a Trois
A gutsy blend of both red and white grapes, the 2012 Menage a Trois Rosé brings Merlot, Syrah, Gewurztraminer and a touch of Muscat to the heady blend of flashy fruit. Expect vibrant red berry aromas, with lean lines and tropical tones on the palate profile.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling 2012 (WA) $20

Chateau Ste Michelle

Always a delight, Eroica is the delicious off-dry Riesling offspring born of a partnership between two prominent Riesling estates, Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington and Germany's Dr. Loosen from the famed Mosel wine growing region. Guaranteed to be a palate pleaser from start to finish, the Eroica Riesling brings beautiful balance, unmatched elegance and food-friendly acidity to every sip.  A versatile wine find for Valentine's Day - think sushi.

Sandeman 20-Year Tawny Port (Portugal) $45

Sandeman

For those looking for a wine and chocolate experience to remember on Valentine’s, check out the Sandeman’s 20-Year-Old Port - delivering the sweet, rich full-flavors of honeyed almonds and a touch of fig and caramel on the palate. Port is the perfect partner for high-end Valentine's Day chocolate.

 

Sample Disclosure

Some of the wines in this list were samples provided for review. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

Related Video
Sunny Day Cocktail
How to Pack a Wedding Day Emergency Kit
  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Wine
  4. Holidays with Wine
  5. Valentine's Day Wines

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.