When the most romantic day of the year is upon us, I always buy an extra bottle of wine. Maybe it’s the expectation that the day must be perfect that give me the jitters, maybe it’s the realization that Valentine’s Day is uber-capitalized and I feel the need to buy a box of chocolates that is over $20, maybe I know that showing our love shouldn’t be shoved into just one day… Whatever the reason, I know I’ll have wine in my glass earlier than later.
In no particular order and in no way an end, here is a list of wines that I think would be great for Valentine’s Day (or any other day, for that matter):
1. Charles de Fere Jean Louis Blanc de Blanc: This hidden gem of a sparkler is my go-to for the bubble. Made in France but not within the boundaries of Champagne, I think it’s the perfect balance of flavor and fizz. Grapes sourced from both the north and the south of France give this blend a tropical flair in a dry body with elegance that lasts through the bubbles.
2. Tilia Malbec: A sustainably grown Malbec from Argentina, this remains in my top choices for any occasion. For more than four years, it hasn’t let me down yet.
3. Green Truck Organic Petite Sirah: from the Red Truck family of wines, this organic bottle has everything one could want in a busty red wine. It is a great balance of heavy berry flavor, dry tannins that won’t turn your tongue into sandpaper and lasting grace that waits for the next sip patiently.
4. Clean Slate Riesling: From the motherland of Riesling, this one is worth the pick. Not too sweet but sweet enough and backed with plenty of flavor, this wine fits the bill as both fruity and stony. Grown on hills made of slate, the terroir or the earth that the vine receives its growth, nourishment and taste from, is so important that any fallen stone will be put back.
5. Lucy, Rosé of Pinot Noir- A beautifully pink wine with a beautiful backstory, this wine redefined rosé wines for me. Before tasting this wine, rosé wines were a lackluster middle ground being neither red nor white nor something tasty in between. Lucy blasted beyond the perimeter by being fruity, light, refreshing and crisp without any loss of flavor.
6. Girl and Dragon Malbec: One of my new finds. It is a wonderful wine with a healthy dose of tannins and dark red jammy berries that I found at Target once and have yet to find again. I was a little bummed to find out that this wine is part of the Canopy Management family of wines (Wine Sisterhood, Middle Sister, Promisqous, Monogamy, etc.) because I like to stay away from the larger incentive- driven portfolios of wine, but I’m still thinking about it so I’ll bring it home next time see it anyway.
7. Broadside Chardonnay: There are two un-oaked chardonnays from Broadside and both of them are awesome. The catchphrases native fermentation, bio-organic viticulture and minimalist, refined approach paint the picture of healthy vines, less messed with winemaking and wines that are true to nature. This isn’t the typical rich and heavy chardonnay but rather something silky and round, fruity and refreshing. If you’re a chardonnay adventurer, make this a stop.
8. Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia: If you have the funds and you find this wine before Valentine’s Day, you’d be losing an opportunity if you didn’t buy it. I’ve been very lucky to try this wine a couple times. All I can say is, Chocolate and wine. Chocolate and wine. And I didn’t have any bar of chocolate at hand…
Reading and re-reading this list makes me happy. I have tasted all of these wines and I would not go anywhere for a long while if they were all displayed on my table. There are definitely other wines that I have tried, loved and could blurb on about, but who needs more than eight bottles anyway? I’ll leave some of the tasting adventures to you. Cheers!
This article is also running in the February 2015 edition of the Big Island Chronicle.