Food is our love language and over the years we've shared a number of menus for Valentine's Day. Chances are you have a favorite meal to share with your special someone(s) but do you have a special wine.
Food and wine are the great pairing. They are like the perfect couple and are at their best when they compliment each other. The right bottle of wine elevates any meal, and choosing the perfect bottle doesn’t have to be complicated. Traditional advice tells us that wines and dishes of certain regions go well together for a reason and good pairings are made not just through the elements of gastronomy (acid, spice, alcohol, sweetness, etc.), but also of the heart and soul.
Here are some of our favorite Italian wines for Valentine's Day.
Brachetto d’Aqui Begin the evening with a sparkling toast with a wine the color of rose petals, soft and creamy with hints of wild strawberries and raspberries. Brachetto d’Aqui is from the Piedmonte region of Northern Italy in an area known for its effervescence.
Prosecco Take a note from almost everyone's Valentine playbook and prosecco will be at the top of the list. From the vineyards of Valdobbiadene, north of Venice, the Colli Trevigiani and Brenta Canal, some of the most romantic regions of Italy, a good prosecco never disappoints. The fragrance alone can be intoxicating. My prosecco passion is a St- Germain Spritz. St-Germain is a French liqueur made with fresh elderflowers hand picked in bloom every spring. How romantic is that! In Italy this spritz is called a Hugo, a pleasing aperitivo from Italy's Sud-Tirol and a cousin of the edgy Venetian spritz.
1 1/2 OZ ST‑GERMAIN
2 OZ PROSECCO
2 OZ SODA WATER
EDIBLE FLOWERS (OPTIONAL)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano The romance of Tuscany in a glass. Sangiovese wine produced in or around the town of Montepulciano. Evidence suggests it dates as far back as the Etruscan period, several centuries BC. Not to be confused with Montelpulciano di Abruzzo. A good general rule of thumb to avoid this confusion is if you see Montepulciano at the end of a wine name, it’s the place. In the beginning, it’s the grape.
Brunello di Montalcino One Italy’s most famous and prestigious wines. A special wine for a robust meat centric meal or a hardy ragout.
Barbera, Chianti Classico, Chianti Colle Senesi If pasta is a favorite Valentine meal choose your wine from this group. Barbera is made from the third most planted grape in Italy, popular because of its low tannins and high acidity making it a perfect pairing for tomato sauced pasta. Follow the Trail of the Black Rooster (Gallo Nero) to a bottle of iconic Chianti Classico. For a slightly lighter, less expensive taste of rustic Tuscany look to the surrounding hills with Chianti Colle Senesi to experience the medieval romance of Siena.
Teroldego If you're panning a romantic dinner in front of the fireplace, a charcuterie board or fondue channel the winter scene with a wine from the Italian Dolomites. Spanning the regions of the Trentino-Alto Adige and the Veneto, Italy's Sud-Tirol is filled with Tyrolean specialties and snow-capped mountains. A mere yodel away from Switzerland with a strong influence in regional Italian, German and Swiss foods, it is a land of panoramic scenery and exceptional food. A glass of ruby red Teroldego with notes of cranberry and pomegranate, blended with blackberry and raspberry makes it the jewel of the South Tyrol.
Sagrantino The main red grape of Umbria is used to make the most excellent DOCG Sagrantino di Montefalco - “la dolce vita” squared.
Vin Santo Wine of the Saints. An amber colored sweet wine with a unique taste and velvety texture that is meant for sipping at the end of a meal.