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When choosing a wine for Valentine's Day, look for romantic wine names. Okay sure, this is a bit hokey and subject to the excesses of the marketing department, but a wine name that suggests romance shows that you
at least put a little thought into your selection; many of these wines are actually good, and will save you some coins for that Valentine's gift.
You can't go wrong with bubbles to start the evening on a festive note."Champagne" is probably the most romantic word in wine, but there are alternatives that fit the Valentine's mood. One is La Vie en Rose sparkling wine. from Domaine du Pas Saint Martin in France's Loire Valley, it is priced at a fraction of the cost of true champagne, yet provides atmosphere with its vibrant red color. Geek Alert: it's made using the "methode ancestrale", with a single fermentation rather then the induced second (bubbly) used to make champagne and most other sparkling wines. It is also made from an obscure grape known as grolleau noir, so wine lovers can quietly cross another variety off their century list when their dates aren't looking.
The Beaujolais cru called Saint Amour probably enjoys higher sales in February then in any other month. Look for the bottling from Georges Duboeuf'; it's pleasant, fruity and food-friendly. After all, you want the wine to facilitate, not dominate, your evening. White wine lovers should consider the Hugel pinot blanc called Cuvee les Amours from Alsace. Its richness makes it an ideal partner for winter seafood dishes.
Of course, in any Valentine's Day meal, dessert is the piece de resistance, the mood-setter for the rest of the evening, If your indulging with a rich chocolate dessert, I recommend two approaches with wine: First, port matches chocolate's intensity with power, A late-bottled vintage port or a good tawny, such as the Burmester Jockey Club, reserve will do nicely
The second approach to balance chocolate's richness with a lighter, fruitier wine. Three years ago, it was recommended brachetto and other sweet, frizzy, low-alcohol reds from northern Italy as ideal playmates for chocolate. Now this category seems poised to become the next fad, capitalizing on the meteoric rise in sales of moscato. Even Yellow Tail, the popular Australian label, last month introduced Sweet Red Roo (citing a 246 percent increase in U.S., sales of sweet wine last year).
Unless you're courting an animal-rights activist, you might not want to go with a critter wine for Valentine's Day, So I suggest sticking with a brachetto, such as the widely available Rose Regale from Banfi (or La Romantica from Vinchio-Vaglio Serra (This winery has a cheaper, lighter version called La Passione). The category is growing; Red Dream from Rinaldi, is made from the malvasia grape and is somewhat richer and sweeter than brachetto. Another popular malvasia is the delightful Fracchia Antichi Giochi Casorzo called Voulet ; if that doesn't sound particularly romantic, it does in Italian.
Red Wine Store