It’s a big heart-thumping world out there when it comes to picking “the” wine for Valentine’s Day. So, we’ve categorized sommelier-approved picks of Sparkle, Seductive and Splurge, plus some tips on vino happenings during the love month. Hit it with your best shot, Cupid!
Folktale Winery, Carmel, California, produces a sparkling brut and pretty-in-pink rosé with fruit-forward flavors of watermelon, kiwi and strawberry (about $40). Perfect for a Galentine’s patio brunch or as a topper for your pink cocktail creation.
Luna Nuda prosecco was apparently named for the influence a full moon had on Treviso vintners for centuries. Bask in this light, crisp Italian bubbly with flavors of Fuji apple, fresh pear and honey ($17).
You’ll fall crazy in love with this new natural brut from sommelier darling Billecart-Salmon. ‘Nature’ refers to the driest style with no added sugar, and this vibrant blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meuniere boasts persistent bubbles. Citrus and brioche fragrances, and flavors of lime, almond cream and white fruit will wow (about $55).
‘Natural’ bubbles should be accessible to everyone, agree? Enter Korbel 2017 Natural Russian River Valley Champagne ($16), ultra-dry with lush ripe apple, Meyer lemon, raspberry flavors and a creamy mousse. Pair with oysters, truffled pasta and goat cheese salads. A steal!
Maleson Cremant de Bordeaux is a rare luxury made from Semillon and Cabernet Franc. The palate is bright with frothy bubbles, followed by an undertow of honeyed, biscuit flavors ($15).
A Ruffino Prosecco magnum is a girl’s BFF when gathering pals for a bubbly toast or making cocktails on the patio (about $20).
La Valentia’s artful labels are as enchanting as the lightly effervescent Texas chenin blanc crafted by Rae Wilson. To buy, visit the new C.L. Butaud + Wine for the People’s Tasting Room (Austin) for a flight tasting of many varietals. It’s a lovely way to get out of the house for a few hours!
Layer Cake’s well-crafted, wallet-friendly wines ($15-$18) are not dessert, but they are irresistible. Think big, brooding Argentinian malbec with whiffs of bacon and a tongue tingling New Zealand sauvignon blanc.
Sarah Jessica Parker knows a thing or two about Sex and the City… and wine. Her collaboration with Invivo landed X by SJP, a skillfully crafted French rosé ($19) that will stop you in your Manolo Blahniks.
Whether contemplating exes or courting new “ohs,” Maison Marcel’s uplifting heartsy-artsy bottle and dry Provencal rosé with exotic lychee, elderflower and scrumptious peach notes should do the trick ($18).
Melt hearts with sunny California Girasole Vineyards chardonnay. It won’t break the bank, has an easy-open twist top, and multifaceted flavors (about $16).
You’ll fall hard for the decadent pinot noirs, wildly aromatic zinfandel and bone-dry riesling at Dutton-Goldfield ($30-$65). Chill the riesling and order in sushi.
Sojourn Cellars’ rich, balanced 2018 Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast chardonnay is a vacation in a bottle ($45). Marry up with grilled shrimp, lobster or a garlicky pasta.
Panthera’s (The Hess Collection) opulent Russian River chardonnay and silky Sonoma Coast pinot noir are gems worth hunting down ($45 and up).
Echolands Winery Les Collines Vineyard Syrah 2018, Walla Walla, Washington state ($38) is sultry and intense, just the way your date should be.
Dreaming of a trip to California wine country? Gift your Valentine a beautifully gold-etched Asian-inspired bottle of the fire rooster Cuvèe Charles Li pinot noir from Merry Edwards Winery ($120). Now plan that rendezvous!
The Wine Lovers Celebration is February 1–26th at 45 wineries in the Texas Hill Country. Purchase a digital Event Passport to taste at four wineries per day at each event and receive exclusive discounts on bottle purchases. Passport tickets are $100/couple or $65/individual and valid for the duration of the celebration. More information and the ticket sales link can be found here.
The #MyJordanValentine Date Night at Home Contest asks couples to share their love stories on social (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) for a chance to win a date night for two on Valentine’s Day weekend from a five-star Houston restaurant (Brennan’s, Pappas Steakhouse and Bludorn). Entries should follow/tag @jordanwinery and use hashtag: #MyJordanValentineHouston. Deadline to enter is 2/10 (hurry!) and the three winning couples will be announced 2/11. Details/rules here.
Cover Image: Courtesy Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite, credit Bert Stern.
Robin Barr Sussman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston Modern Luxury Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.