The Best Kind of Wine for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day traditionally is one of the busiest restaurant days of the year, and this year promises to be no exception since there is such pent-up demand for a return to “normal” in all of our lives.

If you’re reading this on or before the 14th… or if you’re in a romantic mood after the 14th… and are looking to impress your Significant Other, we have four important words of advice for you: Don’t forget the wine!

That goes for whether you’re dining out or staying at home, perhaps in front of a crackling fire.

The question is: What type of wine should one plan to enjoy on Valentine’s Day?

The answer: There are many options. These options can be placed into three broad categories: sparkling, red and sweet.

Sparkling wine has long been thought of as the wine of celebrations, whether we’re talking about a wedding, a milestone birthday or welcoming in a new year. One of its great allures is that it can be savored solo or enjoyed with a wide spectrum of dishes, from shellfish to spicy ethnic cuisine.

No color defines romance better than red, and there are so many great red wines being made around the world today, from Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon, and from Malbec to Chianti Classico. When it comes to food affinity, perhaps the most versatile choice is Pinot Noir, as it pairs perfectly with everything from prime rib to salmon.

Finally, let’s not forget about sweet wines — often, the only type of wines that those who say they don’t like wine will try. Here again, the choices are many, including dessert wines made from grapes such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer, as well as various styles and ages of Port from Portugal.

With the dessert-style wines, which typically ooze sweet fruit flavor, great companions include fruit-based desserts such as peach cobbler or apple brown Betty. Port goes well with salted nuts as well as another “romantic” option: dark chocolate.

Of course, the best wine of all is the kind you like. Choose a bottle that you know your Significant Other enjoys, and you’ll be making a most romantic gesture.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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