Wine of the Week: Valentine’s Day wines that enhance romance

Valentine’s Day is looming large on the horizon, and by now, many of you have either made reservations at a favorite restaurant, bought chocolate or ordered flowers. Maybe you even did all three — after all, romance is what the day is all about, and you can never do too much wooing.

But this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, so it’s technically a “school night.” And even though we catch a break with the Presidents Day holiday the next day, COVID-19 protocols could easily get in the way of a relaxing night out. So my suggestion is to bring the restaurant home. Consider making their favorite meal or arrange to have dinner from their favorite eatery delivered. And, just to be safe, make sure that love is not only in the air, but in the wine bottle as well.

The wine that enhances romance might be a bit different for every couple, so I have solicited some advice from a few people to find out what wine they plan to employ to tip the scales of love in their favor and ensure a successful love connection this weekend. Of course, individual results may vary…

Anyone who knows me — or listens to “Wine of the Week” with any regularity — knows my spouse, Cindy, enjoys sparkling wine, especially from the Champagne region of France. Not many wines scream “Valentine’s Day” louder than Rose Champagne. The Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial Champagne, from Epernay, France, is more than just a pretty wine; it’s delicious too. Dazzling red fruit aromas of summer raspberries and cherries fill the bouquet and flavors of tangerine, red plum, and raspberry glide across the palate. The bright, delightfully fresh acidity on the finish makes it an excellent companion with a fruit tart or soft cheeses. $50

Jim knows that the perfect food-wine pairing goes a long way with his bride, Lori. She runs two successful businesses simultaneously, so her days can get a bit hectic. But Jim knows the off-dry 2017 Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese, from the Mosel region of Germany, will always make her close her laptop for a few hours. This satiny-smooth, slightly sweet Riesling is loaded with rich flavors of ripe peaches, candied ginger and hints of slatey minerals. Its great balance between acidity and sweetness makes it a perfect wine to begin an evening with as an aperitif, or to accompany an apricot tart at the end of any meal. $33

My good friend Chet is a busy guy, as is his wife, Julie, but they always make spending time together a priority. Chet knows that a big, bold red wine will get Julie to stop and smell the bouquet on the 2018 Lail Blueprint Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California. World-famous winemaker Philip Melka crafts a wine that features the opulent flavor of blackberries, cassis and black cherry, supported by hints of vanilla and roasted coffee on the exceptionally long, supple finish. If Chet pairs this splendid selection with a filet mignon, I am sure he will dial in a love connection. $66

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