Valentine’s Day may seem like a cliché day filled with flowers and chocolates. But you can impress your date beyond their wildest expectations with these wines. If you aim to make pulses race this Valentine’s Day, head straight for one of these choices:
1) Rosé (pink) Champagne: Its color blushes with excitement, its bubbles tickle the palate, and its price — high because of its scarcity — says that you care enough to pour the best. Try Veuve Clicquot, Billecart-Salmon, or Laurent-Perrier.
2) Sofia: For more casual bubbles, consider the Coppola 2004 Sofia Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine, about $20 on shelves. Named for the famous director’s daughter, it is light, refreshing, and faintly redolent of pears and peaches. With its Valentine’s Day -appropriate, girly-chic label and pink wrapping paper, it is the vinous equivalent of a hip bed-and-breakfast.
3) Red Burgundy: If chosen carefully, a bottle from the Burgundy village of Chambolle-Musginy (especially the perfectly-named “Les Amoureuses”) or Volnay can coat your tongue with more velvet than the walls of Mae West’s bedroom.
4) Château Calon-Ségur: Tailor-made for seduction, this red Bordeaux features a lover’s heart — fat and curvy like a child’s drawing — smack in the center of its label.
5) St. Amour or Fleurie: These well-named Beaujolais wines are also well-priced, at under $15 a bottle, and they are irresistibly light and fruity. Go for Duboeuf, Drouhin, or Jadot.
6) Shellfish with Rich White Wine: Whether it’s lobster with Meursault or crab-stuffed avocado with California Chardonnay, this creamy pairing has a long history of making people reach for the “Do Not Disturb” sign.
7) Prozac-co Smoothie: Mix Prosecco (the Italian bubbly, try the Zardetto), vodka, and lemon sorbet together in a blender, serve in a champagne flute, top with fresh mint. Valentine’s Day as never tastier!
8) Chaucer’s Choice: Gently simmer a light red wine with a small amount of honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon (based on the medieval spiced wine called hippocras).
9) Cleopatra’s Bliss: Drink a cold glass of late-harvest dessert wine in a hot bath of powdered milk.