Valentine’s Day means love is in the air, which means wine can also be in the glass.
There are so many great wines to experience, and a great wine choice is as easy as it always is: Simply serve the wine you like the best.
However, if it’s not quite that easy, here are some suggestions for a wine that screams “I love you” Feb. 14 on Valentine’s Day.
Je T’aime Brut Rosé – $20
As a romantic gift, there is no more direct way to say “I Love You”—as the label says in French.
This sparkler has Valentines written all over it. It has a beautiful classic old style French label and a very classy looking bottle. Perhaps not the bottle to present on a first date, but definitely the wine to bring when you want to seal the deal and let the whole world you’re in love.
Je T’aime is a beautifully salmon pink Brut Rose with wonderful appealing floral notes on the nose and a real focus of aromas. A stylish bouquet of fresh strawberry and raspberry enthralls one's senses and the bright fresh fruit flavors persist on the palate with a yeasty flavor that is crisp, balanced and graceful.
The Brut Rose receives its delicate color from a short amount of time on the skins of the Pinot Noir grape. Je T'aime has a very crisp lingering finish that will tempt you to take another sip.
Pair Je T’aime with scallops and or soft cheeses, but the wine is very versatile so don’t hesitate to enjoy it with your favorite Valentine meal selections.
Le Grand Courtâge Rosé Brut – $20
The name of this wine can translate to “the great courtship” and sounds like the perfect sparkler for the engaged couple.
This rosé sparkler has fresh and fruity aromas of young strawberry, raspberry and notes of lilac and violets. It has a deliciously seductive flavor profile. Smooth and versatile, it’s a perfect balance of freshness, fruit, acidity and sweetness. A courtship of delicate flavors, red fruit aromas and baby bubbles.
The exciting blend is a Chardonnay that provides a depth and structure to the wine, while the Ugni Blanc offers a natural acidity and freshness. The light bodied Gamay provides vibrant youthful fruit expressions reminiscent of wild berries and flowers amongst the French countryside on a warm summer day.
Le Grand Courtâge has a less dry, yeasty, acidic profile than traditional champagne which can be heavier on the palate. Courtâge’s unique profile, with its dry, crisp, yet light and fruit forward character, creates for a “balanced”, cuisine and cocktail-friendly wine which is enormously versatile.
The rosé complements an array of foods. Try it with spicy Asian dishes, risotto, BBQ, beef, lamb, duck, game, chicken, prosciutto, seafood, pizza or soft cheese (like brie or goat).
2009 Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée – $40
If this is the day to pop the big question or you are just newlyweds, then there is no better sparkling wine to celebrate the good news than Iron Horse’s Wedding Cuvée.
This blend is a classic brut, of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each variety plays its best hand, with Pinot Noir bringing rich, ripe raspberries, strawberries and tannins. The Chardonnay brings acidity and tantalizing notes of limes.
Wedding Cuvée is one of Iron Horse's sweeter bubblies, but it's not a sweet wine. It's soft, creamy and delicious. The wine is brimming with flavors of fresh cherries, green apples, strawberries, polished lemon, brioche and pepper.
Pair with a salad of frisee, a charcuterie and cheese platter, young goat and fresh ricotta cheese, or a pork roast.
Ahnfeldt Napa Valley Handcrafted World-class Wines
• 2011 Provocative Chardonnay Sonoma Valley – $29.50
• 2010 Provocative Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – $32.50
A most romantic dinner treat will include the presence of these two world class premium wines atop the table.
The Chardonnay is soft and rich. It shows layers of fruit, a bit of acid, some minerality and elegance with subtle oak touches. The Cabernet Sauvignon is dark ruby red and a hint of purple at the rim, the bouquet is brimming with sweet cherry and milk chocolate, as well as caramel and cinnamon in the background. There are also hints of currant and sandalwood.
The entry is smooth and balanced with medium body and flavors echoing the bouquet. The evolution is seamless with fine-grain tannins and ample acidity. The winemaker for both wines was Paul Hobbs.
Others to Consider
Those enjoying love affairs with California Rosé Sparklers have a good thing going. So many tasty and reasonably priced bottles that include: Mumm Napa —Brut Rosé Napa Valley “rich, fresh, and lively with strawberry, cherry, crisp apple and vanilla” $24; NV Domaine Chandon Rosé is making its best pink in years, “a distinct cherry presence with enough pastry-crust aromas to evoke a cherry turnover. It’s focused and energetic.” $22; NV Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Rosé, “woodsy notes with dark stone minerality that underlines cranberry, tangerine and pear flavors, creamy vanilla notes on the finish” $27; and NV Scharffenberger Mendocino County Brut Rosé “soft and subtle with fresh apple atop creamy strawberry—a proper food bubbly” – $23.