This year for Valentine’s Day I’m staying in. That said – I stay in every year. It’s not that I’m a V-day scoffer, I just prefer to hit up my local butcher, grocer and wine merchant to forage ingredients for an amorous evening of cooking, feasting and indulging in multiple glasses of wine by a roaring fire. Amazing.
If you are like me and your plan is to wine and dine with your valentine in the comfort of your dwelling, you might consider adding any of the following bottles to your shopping list. These charming wines will surely complete your romance package and set the tone for an enchanting evening of adoration and deliciousness. Now lets turn up the Phil Collins and get down to business!
Here are my top 3 wines to love with your lover…
available at BC Liquor Stores – $27.99
Delicate and feminine, this lovely blush could be the perfect start to your evening. I am an advocate for rose consumption year round. Terraces and tanning oil are not required to enjoy a little pink in your glass and in the case of Whispering Angel, the boys needn’t even worry – it’s not pink, it’s salmon! Speaking of salmon: pair this wine with lightly smoked salmon or tartare.
The nose has aromas of tropical fruit, strawberry and briny lemon. Wild strawberries tempt the palate with notes of papaya and tangerine. Bright balanced acidity and a slight earthy background of toasted pine nuts and mineral lead to a lengthy finish and a lengthy kiss!
#2 – Champalou, Sparkling Vouvray, Brut NV, Method Traditionelle, Loire Valley, France
available at Liberty Wine Merchants – $34.99
Although Champagne is seen by many to be the most romantic of sparkling wines, I invite you to explore this traditional method bubbly made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes in France’s Loire Valley. Chenin Blanc is one of the most versatile and underrated white grapes out there and its wines have a vast range in style from bone dry table wines to sweet botrytis dessert wines and sparkling. Chenin’s exotic aromas and eccentric personality are both racy and sensual. Pair with chili and lemon calamari or rare pork tenderloin with apple and poached pear sauce.
The bouquet opens up with subtle notes of honeysuckle, lemon, chamomile and wet wool – a classic descriptor for a certain aromatic funk characteristic in Chenin Blanc . The bubbles are tiny with a smooth, rich texture. Flavors of ginger, honey and orange zest are accompanied by floral and mineral notes with a long, dry, citrus finish.
To learn more about Chenin Blanc, here is a great article recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.
#3 – Henry Fessy, Saint-Amour, Cru Beaujolais, Burgundy, France, 2009
available at BC Liquor Stores – $24.99
Ahh…Saint-Amour, the illustrious wine of love. Made from 100% Gamay grapes, this delicate creature comes from a small, obscure cru appellation in the northernmost part of France’s Beaujolais region – technically part of Burgundy. The smooth, velvety texture of this wine is somewhat redolent of the plush track suit that you wore in high school. It’s time to put your velvet pants on! When you think of Beaujolais you might be reminded of one of France’s most fruitful marketing campaigns – Beaujolais Nouveau – but Saint-Amour is in another league. As one of the 10 designated “Cru’s” of Beaujolais, it has a perfumed bouquet and complex minerality which will change your perception of the B word. Pair with seared duck breast and serve very slightly chilled.
Bright ruby in color with aromas of raspberries, fresh cranberries, peaches and herbal tea. The palate is fresh and bright with red fruit carrying through from the nose. Low tannin with a silky texture, light to medium body and juicy acidity. There is a subtle herbal and mineral background and a persistent finish.
Although I do enjoy wining and dining at home, I also love to support our vibrant dining scene in Vancouver. For those of you seeking a fanciful evening out on February 14th, check out Erin Ireland’s list of Vancouver’s most romantic restaurants.