Rather than being obscure, I am going to be obvious. Here are some easy choices for selecting wines for Valentine’s Day, or any other romantic occasion…
Rosé- Pink wines are easy to drink, and sexy, whether they are still or sparkling.
First, the 3 basic ways of making Rosé wine:
ALL grape juice is virtually colorless, it is the grape skins that give a finished wine their color.
- Skin maceration- leaving crushed grapes in contact with their skins (maceration) gives the wine depth of flavor, and of course color. Red grapes with short maceration can produce rosé wines, white grapes can produce orange wines. My favorite still wines are created this way as they they are the intended final product (see alternative saignée method below)
- “Bleed off” red wine that is fermenting to create a lighter red (rosé) wine. This is called the saignée method in France and most of these wines are created as a byproduct to make use of grapes intended for finished red wines
- Miix red and white grape juice before final fermentation. This method,used to for rosé Champagne, is allowed for some wine production but not all.
Mixing finished red and white wine, to make a pink wine is not a generally accepted method to create rosé wine and is therefore not legal in most wine producing regions.
My favorite Rosés are from Provence, France or the Loire Valley (Sancerre Rouge).
Dessert wines are wines intentionally finished with residual sugar and are meant to be drunk after dinner. These wines can be paired with sweet foods, cheeses, or drunk alone, as dessert. Some of the most famous examples of dessert wine from around the world. Some of my favorite dessert wines, to drink solo, are Coteaux du Layon, from the Loire Valley or Italian Vin Santo. Because they have high acidity, in addition to sugar, they are not overly syrupy or cloying.
Splurge wines- $$$
Cult Napa Cabs (USA), Burgundy, Bordeaux (France), Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Amarone (Italy), and Rioja (Spain) are all classic wines. They are expensive to produce, and/or need a long time to develop, and are therefore usually very pricey. One of my favorites is Calon Ségur.
This estate came to be owned by Nicolas-Alexandre, marquis de Ségur who also owned Chateau Latour and Chateau Lafite. Despite his ownership of these two First Growths, the Marquis said that “I make wine at Lafitte (spelling) and Latour but my heart is at Calon Segur.” The wine’s label today includes a drawing of a heart around the Chateau’s name.