Are you looking to impress that special someone in your life? You’ve probably already procured the flowers and chocolate, made a dinner reservation, or bought the ingredients to cook a romantic meal at home. When love is in the air, it’s only natural to have wine on hand. Read on to learn about which wines will make your Valentine’s Day (or night) a memorable one.
Planning on having fresh lobster or crab for your Valentine’s dinner? Chardonnay is a tried-and-true pairing for the succulent meat and buttery-lemon flavors commonly associated with those shellfish. Old World examples from Burgundy, such as Puligny-Montrachet, Pouilly-Fuissé, and Chablis are impeccable matches. New World Chardonnay from California AVAs like the Russian River Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Carneros, as well as Australia’s Adelaide Hills region also work wonderfully well with these dishes.
The pronounced, dark fruit flavors and firm tannins of full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon wines will complement the marbling and seasoning of tender red meat dishes, like filet mignon or rack of lamb. If you like a bold style, try a bottle from Napa Valley or Australia’s Coonawarra region. For elegant, mineral-driven Cabernet, appellations in the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux serve as the reference point.
For raw oysters, steamed mussels, caviar, or even sushi, clean, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc is perfect. The wines of Loire’s Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé appellations are floral and energetic, with hints of citrus, soft stone fruits, and minerality, while Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region often displays crisp, refreshing tropical fruits characteristics. Neither style will overpower the delicate flavors of the aforementioned seafood dishes.
Does an Italian-inspired meal strike your fancy? Then Sangiovese is the wine for you. The best examples come from areas throughout Italy’s Tuscany region, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and some Toscana IGT wines, better known as “Super Tuscans.” Their high levels of acidity and tannins, along with intense red berry fruit and earth flavors, are suitable with a variety of dishes, from roasted game to sauces featuring tomatoes or mushrooms.
Rosé Sparkling Wines
If you want a classic, sophisticated Valentine’s wine, pink-colored bubbly is the way to go. There are several options that fall into this category. For those with a sweet tooth, rosé sparkling Italian wines such as Brachetto d’Acqui and Moscato d’Asti are fine, inexpensive choices that will pair beautifully with desserts like chocolate or strawberries. If you prefer something dry, rosé versions of Spanish Cava, French Crémant, and of course, Champagne, are food-friendly and delicious alternatives to the white sparkling wines typically served throughout the rest of the year.
Whether it’s your first date or you’re in a long-term relationship, sharing a bottle of wine is always fun. Just remember, the person you’re sharing it with is what really counts.