Happy ‘Valenwines’ Day!

Yes, that was not a typographical error!  Happy Valenwine’s Day!

On the world’s most romantic day of the year, what better to serve for that special someone in your life?  Beer, soda, nor milk say, “I love you” like a thoughtful and well-chosen bottle of wine to be served with dinner. But what bottle of wine to choose?

Nothing is quite so sexy as a bottle of sparkling wine! Sparkling wines are most often associated with celebration yet are a perfect pairing for any number of dishes. The bubbles and high acidity cleanse the palate and make you want to take another bite. Sparkling wines come in both white and pink versions. White sparkling includes Blanc de Blancs Champagne from 100% Chardonnay. Flavors include green apple, pear, brioche and almonds. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Sparkling from California and Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Champagne are great choices that won’t break the budget.

As for pink sparkling wine (known as Rosé), it made be produced from both red and white grapes. These wines can appeal to both white and red wine drinkers. Flavors of red cherry, strawberry, green apple and lime abound, yet these wines can be delicate and ethereal. And the color evokes the romance of this day for lovers! Great examples include Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne, Barone Pizzini Brut Rosé Franciacorta from Italy or Argyle Brut Rosé Sparkling from Oregon. These wines can even stand up to grilled steak and are lovely with salmon.

Yet another romantic option is dry rosé wine. This is NOT the sickly sweet pink wine that may immediately come to mind! These wines are dry, have great acidity and may be made from a range of red grapes, from Pinot Noir to Grenache to even darker grapes like Syrah and Malbec. White wine and red wine lovers will both find something to like about these wines. Recommended wines are Domaines Ott Château Romassan Bandol Rosé from France, Vitiano Rosato from Umbria, Italy (a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Aleatico) and Etude Pinot Noir Rosé from Carneros, Calif.

For red wine lovers, the world is your oyster! Red wines range in style from lighter-bodied, such as Pinot Noir, to fuller-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Amarone della Valpolicella. Red meat, tuna steak and lamb are classic pairings. You can even find great tasting wines with hearts on the label: Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa and Château Calon-Ségur from Bordeaux!

This year, why not celebrate “Valenwine’s Day”?  Your significant other will thank you!

About the Author: Dinah Leach is the Wine Director and Sommelier for Angelina’s Ristorante of Bonita Springs.  You may contact her with any wine questions at dinah@epicfoodconcepts.com.

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