I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day.
Sure, it’s a fun excuse to have a great meal and a terrific bottle of wine.
But there’s often so much pressure when it comes to this holiday.
If you’re dating someone, especially early on, it can be daunting trying to figure out what to get or what to do on this day.
Spend a fortune on a fancy dinner at a restaurant?
Buy flowers? Or chocolate? Or something more unique?
And what if you just started dating?
Is it too much too soon?
And what if you’re married? You can’t ignore the holiday. But do you really need a day to show off about how much you love the person you love? Shouldn’t you be saying that and expressing that every day already?
And if you’re single, you can definitely feel left out.
So what does all of this have to do with wine, you might be wondering?
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to open the greatest wine in the world on Valentine’s Day.
If you want to open something really special, that’s great. And I have a few, really special wines recommended below.
But you’re under enough pressure already.
Opening a bottle of wine should be a fun part of Valentine’s Day, not another chore.
And if you’re not with someone, don’t worry. You can always finish the rest of the bottle the next night, especially this year
That’s because Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday on a long weekend this year. The next day is President’s Day (or Family Day if you’re from Canada’s Ontario province like my wife).
This week, I decided to recommend five wines for Valentine’s Day weekend – 2 reds, 2 whites and 1 Champagne. I really love all these wines. And best of all, many of them are not that expensive.
Just please don’t think of these special wines recommended this week as Valentine’s Day trophies to be paraded out in celebration of the love of your life.
Think of them as really great wines you just happened to open on February 14th with someone you love, with family members or maybe simply on your own.
Just don’t forget to tell the person you’re with you love them.
Hope you enjoy.
5 SPECIAL WINES PERFECT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY WEEKEND
2019 Don Olegario Albarino Rias Baixas ($20 Suggested Retail Price)
2016 MacRostie Winery and Vineyards Charles Heintz Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($36 SRP)
2017 Trapiche Medalla Cabernet Sauvignon ($20 SRP)
2016 Morgon Les Charmes Mommessin Beaujolais ($29 SRP)
Palmer & Company Champagne Brut Reserve ($54.99 at Table & Vine in West Springfield)
WINE TASTING NOTES
2019 Don Olegario Albarino Rias Baixas
Region – Rias Baixas, Spain
Grapes – Albarino
Tasting Notes – Many of the wines recommended this week are lesser known wines or grapes that truly deserve more attention. One grape in particular recently that I have found to be especially delightful is Albarino, a white wine grape found most often in northern parts of Portugal and northwestern Spain. Albarino wines are perfect winter white wines. That’s because their flavors have more depth and intensity than many white wines. This understated gem has opulent aromas and flavors that include fresh picked apples, pear, mango and fresh herbs. This wine pairs wonderfully with grilled fish, truffles, chicken or softer cheeses. It’s also delightful all on its own.
2016 MacRostie Winery and Vineyards Charles Heintz Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Region – Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Grapes – Chardonnay
Tasting Notes – You’ll probably have to order this wine directly from the winery located in California’s Russian River Valley. That’s the case often with many, smaller wineries in this magical part of California but it’s worth the hassle. That’s because there are so many small producers making outstanding wines (especially Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs) in the Russian River Valley area of Sonoma County. This particular winery is one I visited two years ago. Recently, I opened this particular bottle and was immediately transported back to the winery’s spectacular, outdoor tasting area. This Chardonnay’s flavors range from hints of lemon, melted butter and chestnuts. A truly wonderful wine and great expression of the region’s incredible wine making climate and culture.
2017 Trapiche Medalla Cabernet Sauvignon
Region – Mendoza, Argentina
Grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Notes – Here’s another lesser known, affordable wine that I have meaning to write about for several weeks. Argentina may be best known for its powerful Malbec wines. But this lush, elegant, fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon illustrates the wide range of wonderful wines being produced in Argentina’s magnificent Mendoza region. This wine’s flavors range from ripe cherries and dark chocolate to espresso and a dash of black pepper. Pair this wine with hearty cheeses or smoked meats and a roaring fire and you have all the ingredients for a wonderful, romantic night.
2016 Morgon Les Charmes Mommessin Beaujolais
Region – Morgon, Beaujolais, France
Grapes – Gamay
Tasting Notes – This is another wine I have absolutely loved for the past few years. I also thought it was worth mentioning since there’s still a great deal of misunderstanding about Beaujolais wines. When most people think of Beaujolais, they think of the wine just harvested and bottled and sold each November. But France’s Beaujolais region produces so many other, wonderful wines, including 10 villages in the region that specialize in making Beaujolais “cru” wines with Gamay grapes. This particular wine comes from the Beaujolais cru village of Morgon. This voluptuous, luxurious, velvety smooth wine has wonderful, round, subtle fruit flavors that range from blackcurrant to blackberry and plum. Give this wine a little time to open up. Then be prepared to be dazzled and seduced by its charming flavors and aromas.
Palmer & Company Champagne Brut Reserve
Region – Reims, Champagne, France
Grapes – Blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier
Tasting Notes – No Valentine’s Day wine column would be complete without mentioning a wonderful, crisp, dry Champagne. In December, I recommended several other Champagnes and sparkling wines recently around the holidays, so I wanted to highlight another, lesser-known Champagne. This understated, earthy Champagne has hints of almonds and apricot flavors, along with a dash of hazelnuts and pears. You can pair this wine with many different foods – from oysters to popcorn to steak – or simply enjoy this beautiful wine on its own.
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