Forget the flowers and chocolate. Five wines for your Valentines.
If you really want to score some brownie points this Valentine’s, get creative and get your special someone a few good wines. This selection is sure to please.
Champagne Bérèche Brut Reserve NV
This is from a small family owned winery in the Montagne de Reims. Made from the traditional blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the wines from Bérèche are nothing traditional. Rafael makes the wines super dry, keeping the dosage to a minimum, only 6 g/l in this Brut. The wines also have very high natural acidity and pristine minerality. When you taste this you can expect the following wine to feel much sweeter and fruitier. I love this at the end of the night when we can sit on the sofa, relax and cleanse our palates.
Sierra du Sud, Domaine Gramenon, Côtes du Rhône Villages Rouge 2009
Syrah is sexy. Plain and simple. The grape evokes so many pleasant aromas to boost your dopamine. Black currants, licorice, pepper, bacon, violets all backed by luscious body, round tannins, bright acid, earthy finish. Gramenon makes wines that taste French, like French French. It’s hard to explain, but the terroir is in the glass. It’s not a stinky wine at all; it’s actually very pretty and mysterious. This wine is sexy.
Les Crêtes, Torrette Valle d’Aosta Italy 2009
On the French-Italian border, the valley of Aosta is home to the wonderful alpine wine region. With the Mont Blanc in the background, snow covered mountains and green valleys; this part of the world is breathtaking. This is a blend of 70% petite rouge and 30% “other” varieties. Mostly all local indigenous grapes plus some Pinot Noir, Gamay and the likes. This wine is delicate, light in body with similar tones of pinot, but also a fine herbal lift and rustic Beaujolais type aroma.
The wine is fermented in French oak at a cool temperature. Les Crêtes is one of the finest producers in the region, making distinct wines with lovely acidity, balance and length. A great wine for a cheese course or seared scallops with butter.
Ehlers 120/80 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009
It’s good for your heart. Not to be valentines’ cliché, but this wine does support the Leducq Foundation, a highly regarded, not-for-profit foundation dedicated to funding international cardiovascular research. Ehlers makes wines from biodynamically farmed vineyards in Napa Valley. 120/80 is the optimal level of blood pressure and the name of this wine. A plush and juicy wine with spices on the nose, rich long finish.
Soffocone di Vincigliata, Toscana 2008
This wine is dominated by sangiovese with a touch of colorino. Vincigliata is the name of the castle on the top of a hill outside of Florence where Bibi Graetz lives and makes wines. The name is edgy because “Soffocone” is a local slang word for “fellatio”, a reference to the young couples that would (or probably still go) up the hill for the view and to make out. Boom! Bibi likes the joke but takes the wine serious. The label was first rejected in the US and had to be redone in order to meet requirements, (meaning tame the woman performing a blow job on the label… )
Soffocone is a full bodied wine with marascha cherries, cedar, nutmeg and dried floral flavors.
All prices are approximate retail. Please check your local area.