With the arrival of Valentine’s Day comes a great excuse to drop the detox and gear ourselves up for a day where present-giving and pampering are high on the agenda.
The 14th February shows us that romance is alive and kicking, and if you’re in need of some solid guidance when it comes to choosing the wines to accompany the gestures, look no further…
Breakfast in Bed
The traditional money-match for the classic Eggs Benedict or scrambled eggs is a bottle of Champers or sparkling wine. The end game is to find something that looks and tastes the bomb, without costing one. My money is on a French Cremant, made in exactly the same way as Champagne but for a fraction of the price. Guaranteed your other half will think you’ve splashed out three times the price.
Not everyone has wine with their chocolates, but if you’re going to, I’d advise pulling out all the stops. Sweet wines like top-class Sauternes from Bordeaux or Hungarian Tokaji are the traditional honey-nut silk bombs to accompany a fine chocolate. Their luxuriant texture and apricot mouth-water factor combine to envelope said choc in something that resembles a combo from heaven.
Say it with Rosés
Pink is the symbolic colour of Valentine’s Day, so what better way to reflect this than by opting for a rosé on the day. Spain is coming up with some real belters for those who like the more manly rosés – opt for Tempranillo rosé, or alternatively a Cabernet Rosé from Chile or Malbec Rosé from Argentina. All will give you a dry, red fruit lift while still offering you that comforting hearty winter hug we’re still in need of right now.
The Main Event
It’s all about pairings on Valentine’s Day and roast lamb with its succulent and sensual melt-in-the-mouth texture cries out for a spicy Rioja Crianza. If succulent slow-roasted pork is on the menu, plump for a silky Pinot Noir from California or if you’re feeling flush look no further than Burgundy’s Cotes de Nuits. Pinot Noir is the essence of all things sensual with the texture of a mulberry silkworm and the deep concentration of a ‘pick your own’ strawberry patch.
After all that quaffing and munching you may have sensibly adjourned onto the sofa for some one-on-one time. Now is the perfect moment to enlist the services of a ‘digestif’ as they quite rightly do in France. While a Tawny Port will add the much-needed caramel kick to the evening, a sparkling Aussi Shiraz will give you a generous helping of raspberry-cream and then erupt with red-berry fizz over your taste buds.
Presenter and author Rob Buckhaven is passionate about food and drink and appears regularly as a wine expert on TV and as a newspaper and magazine columnist. He can also be found hosting shows across the country, including the BBC Good Food Show, Taste and Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival. Follow him on Twitter at @robbuckhaven.
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