Hey Romeo! Cupid’s arrow is pointed in your direction. So before February 14 hits, we’ve paired some of the wines we’re really into right now with some common Valentine’s situations for a bulls-eye in the drinks department.
The Look of Love
When Sofia Coppola was young, her famed movie producer father (now winery owner), Francis Ford Coppola, promised he would make a sparkling wine and name it after her. A blend of Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Riesling, this elegant white offers flavors of apples, pears and hints of citrus and honeysuckle. Bonus: Bottles come in pink cellophane wrapping ready to gift. Buy it: Spec’s, Total Wine & More, Central Market. About $16
For your first Valentine’s Day together, this romantic Champagne, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, flaunts a bottle with heart-fluttering flower art and French cachet. Buy it: Spec’s, Total Wine & More, Central Market. About $85
A smooth Toscana blend of Syrah and Sangiovese with intoxicating aromas. Fresh, juicy and meaty with hints of spice, this intriguing blend will likely hit the spot. Buy it: Spec’s, Total Wine & More, Central Market. About $19
Easy sipping cherry-and-flowers alternative to Champagne made with Sangiovese grapes for an aperitif or throughout your meal. Start with oysters with red wine mignonette and end with chocolate pot de creme dessert. Buy it: Spec’s, Total Wine & More, Central Market. About $18
Tall, Dark & Handsome
Dark, robust red with decadent flavors of dark berries layered with luscious vanilla and mocha and exceptional structure. A true prince charming for the price. Buy it: readily available nationwide. About $12.99
Men will dig this mind-blowing, award-winning blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Syrah and Mourvedre. With smoky aromas and cinnamon, black pepper, bacon and blackberry on the palate and silky leather texture, it packs a concentrated punch. Buy it: Spec’s, Houston and Austin Wine Merchants. About $20
Svelte bottle with enchanting artwork of an old oak tree will have you two plotting a trip to the French wine country. For now, stay home and sip this impressively balanced Rhone-style blend of Syrah, Grenache and an air-kiss of Viognier. Award-winning, organic and worth the splurge. Buy it: Spec’s. About $95
Pretty in Pink
Known for its radiant color, intense fruitiness and seductive creamy palate, the Rosé Imperial is the most glamorous expression of the French Champagne house’s style and it comes in a beautifully packaged box. Buy it: Spec’s, Total Wine & More, Richard’s, Kroger. About $25
A rosé of Pinot Gris that truly dazzles with its gorgeous, feminine bottle scripted in gold and lovely flavors of ripe strawberry, pomegranate and guava. Buy it: Total Wine & More. About: $15
Delightfully dry with vibrant acidity and aromas of watermelon and rose petal. Not too serious or pricey—just right for a Galentine’s night out with girlfriends. Buy it: Widely available nationwide. About $14
Readily available and reliable–just the wine to tie up a romantic evening or meal with a bow without breaking the bank. Varietals include Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, sparkling rosé and Chianti Classico Riserva. Widely available nationwide. $18-$30
Drink like royalty with this sustainably produced sparkler, a scrumptious mouthful of crisp green apple with hints of biscuit and herbs. Splendid! Buy it: Houston and Austin Wine Merchants. About $50
Classic presentation of passionate, sweet cassis-filled kisses for your dark chocolates. Buy it: widely available nationwide.
Cover photo Jennifer Regnier
Robin Barr Sussman is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone California. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman’s work appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.