Valentine's Day is almost here and whether or not you are partnered, dating, single by choice, poly or otherwise, you SHOULD be drinking delicious wine. Before we get into that, I must espouse my feelings on this holiday. I love it. Well I must love it, to not love Valentine's Day would be against my own self-interest. You see Valentine's Day is my birthday. Yes, Beverly Snawder pushed me into this world on the holiday most emblematic of love. Thanks Mom! She always made it a special day for me, baking many a heart shaped cakes, always chocolate, procuring thematic decor in the "pre-Etsy" era (basically the Stone Age), before the holiday had been commercialized to the 9's, as it is now. The essential theme for me, on my birthday and most days is love. Love sweet love. Self-love. Love of life. Loving to love. For me, it is everything.
Now for wine. So many options on Love Day! In broad strokes, I say you go PINK, Sparkling PINK and jammy ZIN. You can obviously do a lot here, but I shall discuss a few options. Also, Treat YOURSELF, Don't cheat yourself! Spend a tad more. It is Love Day after all.
I like my bubbles pink.
One that is fairly easy to acquire and very easy to consume: Mumm Napa Brut Rosé. This non-vintage sparkler is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, and as the name describes from the famed Napa Valley. The bubbles are clean, the color is romantic and it would pair with sweets, savories or just to get you feelin' the love. They have major distribution so you should be able to find at most major wine retailers.
If you wanna up your game a bit, go with The Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs. From Sonoma, this one is also non-vintage and also predominantly Pinot Noir. With strawberry and cherry cream on the palate, this is Pink Soda Pop for grown-ups. The acidity of the bubbles, made in the méthode champenoise process, make it an ideal food wine.
This may be difficult to get your hands on but worth a mention: Sex by M. Lawrence. This a sparkling rosé made in northern Michigan in the Leelanau Peninsula area. We were spoiled in Chicago, as wines from that area are considered regional and therefore easier to procure. M. Lawrence is a label under L. Mawby and they are all sparkles, all the time. Even if you cannot find this particular one, and you enjoy bubbles, try some of their other offerings. This wine is Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Muscat, which are whole cluster pressed, therefore imparting tremendous flavor. We had the Sex, on our anniversary, coincidentally. The innuendo alone is too much fun.
Rosé from Provence.
Straight from the motherland, Provence is rosé central. There is one made there that is abundant stateside: Miraval. The 2015 is out and ready to drink. This rosé is surely elegant. I have not had the 2015, but we did enjoy the 2014 with friends and copious amounts of french soft cheese, back in the fall. It is fragrant and floral, with raspberries on the palate and a minerality to bring it all home. Good stuff. And it has a fun history. You should be able to get your hands on some. If not, go for the rosé of your choosing. Meant to be drunk year round, it brings the best of both worlds: red fruit with crisp acidity!
Last but not least: ZIN!
I for one, thoroughly enjoy a big ole' jammy zinfandel. There are so many good ones around me! We were just in Paso Robles a few weeks ago and had some excellent ones. I am however, trying to select some wines that most folks, across the U.S. can find easily, so I will skip the niche, boutique wineries for this post. Zinfandel pairs very well with chocolate. If you can find a late-harvest zin to pair with a chocolatey dessert, you're gonna wanna go ahead and do that. A little goes a long way. Most of us though, will be seeking a more standard Zinfandel wine. In California, both Paso Robles and Lodi make some succulent zins.
One label that may be easy to spot is Peachy Canyon. They do a lot of zin, very well.
Another is Klinker Brick. They have that Old Vine thing going on. Get ya some!
Whatever you drink, eat or do for the holiday, enjoy it, love it, love life, it's the best way to live!
Happy Valentine's Day LOVES!