Maia’s Cellar is a column from our friend Maia Gosselin of Sip Wine Education.
Well, the 14th of February is quickly approaching and that means you’d better start thinking about your plans for the evening, and more importantly, what wines you’ll be sipping!
While I fully believe you should show your loved ones how much they mean to you every day, I’m a romantic at heart and any excuse to come up with wines to enjoy on a day dedicated to amore is fine with me! Are you doing a quiet celebration or planning an elaborate dinner with your loved one? Perhaps you’re hosting a Valentine’s fête this weekend and throwing a big bash. Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year so if you’ve got children you know it’s a school night and chances are you and your significant other may be dining with the kids – nothing wrong with that! Whatever your plans, tastes and budget, I’m confident you’ll be smitten with these “4 to adore” selections from the 90+ Cellars arsenal!
Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé, ItalyThis pretty pink sparkler is a party in a glass! Not only is it one of my all-time favorite wines from 90+, but it’s also the ultimate match for Valentine’s Day. But don’t let its pale pink hue fool you; this is a wine with plenty of pizzazz and flavor.
Made from 100% Pinot Noir Lot 49 is fresh and fruity with raspberry and strawberry aromas and a lovely dry toastiness. Sooooo drinkable!
One of the reasons I love this wine is it’s perfect for a range of occasions – it’s both elegant and approachable. Pop a bottle to start off your romantic evening, serve it at a party, enjoy it with dinner or just sip it because it’s so delicious! And remember, although it’s pink, this is not a sweet wine. The color comes from fermentation with the grape skins. Hint: it also pairs beautifully with pink roses…just sayin’.
Tip: Dry sparkling rosé is often my go-to recommendation when it comes to parties as well as complex, diverse meals. The dry nature of this wine, along with the spice and fruit notes, makes it a great match for rich, fried and fatty foods as well as various meats, fruits, cheeses and chocolates. In particular I love the Lot 49 with spicy Thai, sushi, oysters, pizza, wings and antipasto.
Magic Door La Clé de la Femme Brut Champagne, FranceDelicious, delectable, divine… Champagne is in a class of its own! Although I am a lover of all things bubbly from Prosecco to Cava, there’s just something so delightful about exquisite Champagne and this beauty from Magic Door is a heavenly treat!
Pale gold with fine bubbles, it has pear, peach and apple on the nose with brioche and honey on the palate and a rich finish. Remember, the only sparkling wine that can be called Champagne must come from the actual region of Champagne, France and adhere to the many strict laws governing production.
For wine and dine I’d go with Brie, gruyere and gouda cheeses, oysters, smoked salmon, chilled lobster tail or tuna tartare. But I would also pair it just as readily with mac and cheese, buttered popcorn, mini quiches or bacon-spinach puff pastries. Trust me here! Dessert? Peaches and vanilla ice cream, apple tart or flourless chocolate torte with raspberry sauce.
Lot 126 Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, 2015
This Sancerre is a treasure from the Loire and absolutely perfect for a romantic evening. In my opinion, the Loire is the true home of Sauvignon Blanc and the Sancerre appellation is where it thrives, producing superb wines reflective of the terroir. The Lot 126 Sancerre is crisp and grassy with delicious minerality and a hint of the region’s hallmark flint. With its zippy acidity it’s gorgeous with oysters and goat cheese. I also would enjoy it with roast chicken, grilled salmon or pork chops. But if you stick with oysters and goat cheese as a prelude to your evening, you’ll be doing just fine!
Lot 75 Reserve Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA 2015
My red for romance pick! Pinot Noir is such an incredibly romantic wine and this reserve offering from the Russian River Valley is no exception. Silky, smooth and soft, it’s filled with aromas of black cherry, raspberry and cocoa with notes of violet and spice. Take a sip and feel it seduce your palate. I’ll just come out and say it – this is a sexy wine!
In general I have high standards when it comes to Pinot Noir – it can be a finicky grape and requires finesse to produce wines of remarkable quality. The Lot 75 is outstanding and more than meets my expectations. Sip it with a grilled herbed salmon, rosemary chicken breast and of course, chocolates and strawberries. Simply superb.
FUN FACT: Did you know…wine aromas can make you feel amorous? But, different smells act as aphrodisiacs for men and women. Check out this video to make sure you’re serving the right wine tonight to make you Valentine’s Day just right…
For other Valentine’s Day recommendations, check out SELF.com‘s “23 Amazing Red Wines Under $20 for Valentine’s Day,” which includes our Tempesta di Stelle as #6