Happy Valentine's Day! In honor of the holiday we're teaming with Lynfred Winery to give away two bottles of wine! Their 30th Anniversary Red (Cabernet Sauvignon blend) and White (Chardonnay) Cuvees will be in the hands of two lucky readers- they're great wines and retail at $30 each. Here's how to win: leave a comment about what you'll be doing for the holiday and what you'll be drinking. We'll select two winners on Friday, February 18, 2011. Also, don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win! Good Luck!
For all you Romeos out there, Valentine's Day is coming up and I've got news for you- ladies love wine! I'm sure you're saying, "Hey dude- I like wine too!", but for the upcoming holiday it's going to be very important to have the right wine. Here's a few suggestions:
- Nicolas Feuillate Rosé ($44.99). You can't go wrong with bubbly, especially pink bubbly. This will not only set the mood, it will also pair with mostly anything you'd like to put against it. It's raspberry fullness and exotic spice depth will leave you asking for more. Grab a bottle or two.
- Huel Pinot Blanc "Cuvee Les Amours" ($12.49). The name says it all and if you're in the mood for some white wine then you'll be in for a treat. Pop it open with some oysters on the halfshell or any other fresh seafood. Melon and pear fruitiness pop out at you in the nose and palate.
- Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé ($11.29). More pink for Valentine's Day? You've got it! And this Malbec will not disappoint. Fresh, fruity, lively and fun. If you're eating spicy food this will cool it off and enhance the flavors.
- Valentin Bianchi Malbec ($17.99). More Malbec, and this one is deep purple, bright, spicy and full bodied. Fire up the grill for some beef or lamb you'll be in pure bliss with this choice.
- Gaja Ca'Marcanda Promis ($39.99). Love is all about trust and your date will be elated after you've come through on your promise to not mess up the wine choice! This wine is full of violets, mint and italian oregano aroma to go with its juicy dark fruit. Love this wine!
- Terra Valentine Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($34.99). For the fullest of lovers, this wine will leave you and your date in ecstasy. The perfect dry wine to go with chocolate dessert.
Make sure to grab a bottle or two out of these selections and let me know how your Valentine's experience went!
There are three different types of chocolate to purchase: white, milk, and dark. They all have quite different flavor profiles, and therefore must be paired with different beverages. Choose the type your partner likes best, and then we can pick the beverage.
White Chocolate- because it contains alot of cocoa butter (at least 20%), the texture itself is quite buttery. A sparkling wine with a higher amount of residual sugar, such as a demi-sec or doux, will work perfectly. Try Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Sublime Demi Sec ($30-35). Another choice, with a bit of red fruitiness, is the Valter Barbero "Serena" ($8.99). It is a Brachetto-based, frizzante sweet rosé, with light bubbly strawberry flavor.
Milk Chocolate- it's rich creamy texture and light cocoa flavor makes it easier to pair than the other two. Fuller sweet whites, like 2007 Monchhof Estate Riesling ($14) go well. The best pairing is Tamarack Cellars Merlot ($24)- it has a creamy full texture, cherry pie, cocoa, and tobacco flavor. It is big, and the firm tannins mix well.
Dark Chocolate- whether you're trying truffles or a bittersweet dark bar, such as Amano, Zinfandel is always a great choice. I like Cline Ancient Vines ($12), and for a bigger treat, try 2006 Cline Big Break ($23)- it has oak, spice, fruit, and power. For a bit more sweetness, go with 2006 Tobin James "Liquid Love" Late Harvest Zinfandel. It's deep and intense, with extra concentrated fruit. Going out of the way toward beer, I love Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock. Sweet and creamy, with nodes of caramel and vanilla. But for my powerplay, I love an aged Tawny Port. It has dark fruit appeal, but the years of barrel aging give it alot of toasty oak complexity. Go for Ferreira 10 year Tawny Port ($30) or Warre's Otima 10 year Tawny Port ($26) for a smoother approach. These wines will mesh with all flavors the bittersweets can throw at you.
No matter which approach you go with, remember that you don't need Valentine's Day to celebrate the special bond you have with your partner. Since my career has me working most Valentine's, my wife and I find ways to make many more special days for eachother. You both can share chocolate, flowers, wine, and special moments any time of the year.
(Image 1 courtesy of flickr)