WTOP wine guy Scott Greenberg is a romantic at heart. This Valentine's Day, he offers wine recommendations to busy couples that will help them close their laptops and feel the romance.
Cupid notches his arrow of amore, pulls back on the bowstring, takes careful aim and then — Thwang! Love finds its mark! But occasionally, Cupid’s aim is just off the mark and requires a bit of help from his wine-loving buddy Bacchus.
As you can tell, I am a romantic at heart. I am one of those poor sentimental fools who actually looks forward to Valentine’s Day when I can fawn over my spouse without (much) embarrassment. But between hectic schedules, Capital Beltway traffic and work deadlines, just trying to find time for romance becomes a logistical challenge on par with planning a satellite launch.
So what’s a modern-day, stressed-out couple to do in order to grab that loving feeling on the one day dedicated to romance? First, close the laptop and turn off the smartphone. Next, get a couple of wineglasses out — and I mean the “good” ones, not the jelly jars — and grab a great bottle of wine. Pour the wine, look into each other’s eyes and drink in the moment — and then wine. But which wine should you choose to enhance romance?
For the answer, I decided to solicit advice from some of the busiest people I know to find out what wine they employ to tip the scales of love in their favor and ensure a successful romantic connection. Of course, individual results may vary.
For those who know me — or listen to Wine of the Week with any regularity — know that my spouse, Cindy, enjoys sparkling wine, especially Champagne. I am hoping that the sound of the cork popping on a bottle of nonvintage Palmer & Co. Rosé Réserve Champagne from Reims, France, will turn her attention away from work for just a moment or two. There is more than just a pretty wine in this bottle of bubbly. The intense bouquet of red fruit aromas reminds me of fresh raspberries and bright cherries. Flavors of tangerine, red plum and raspberry are transported across the palate by finely-tuned bubbles. The bright, delightfully fresh acidity on the finish makes it an excellent companion with fruit tart or cuddling on the couch. $80
Jim is a romantic at heart and little assistance is needed from Bacchus to augment his chance for romance on Valentine’s Day since his betrothed, Lori, has her hands full running two successful businesses simultaneously. Knowing that she has a penchant for off-dry white wines, I bet that the 2017 Chateau St. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling from the Columbia Valley of Washington will make her close her laptop for a few hours. This satiny-smooth riesling is loaded with rich flavors of ripe peaches, candied apricots and hints of roasted nuts. Due to the great balance between acidity and sweetness, it is a perfect wine to begin an evening with as an aperitif or accompany an apricot tart at the end of any meal. $20
Michael knows that the perfect food and wine pairing goes a long way with his bride, Laura. As an entrepreneur, Michael’s days are somewhat unpredictable, but he can always count on a well-balanced chardonnay to win the day with his spouse. The 2017 Domaine Bousquet Reserve Chardonnay from Argentina is a small price — literally — to pay for love. Made from estate-grown organic grapes, and then aged in French oak barrels for 10 months, the rich, complex flavors of Honeycrisp apple, apricot and peach blend seamlessly in with the vanilla toast finish. Underpinnings of citrus and acidity keep the wine focused and refreshing. Perfect with grilled scallops or fish tacos. $18
My good friend Chet has more irons in the fire than a farrier on a Wyoming ranch. Both he and his wife, Julie, are immersed in telecom, and it doesn’t help that she is even busier than he is. But Chet knows that a big, bold red wine will get Julie to stop and smell the bouquet on the 2015 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California. The opulent flavor of blackberries, cassis and black cherry are supported by hints of vanilla and roasted coffee on the exceptionally long, supple finish. If Chet pairs this splendid selection with a molten chocolate cake, I am sure that he will dial in a love connection. $70
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