Sips for Your Sweetie: Wines to drink this Valentine’s Day

If a life of wine, women and song becomes too much, give up the singing. –Anonymous

There’s something about clinking glasses filled with a red colored liquid that sets a sexy scene for Valentine’s Day. Gazing over a brimming goblet at a lover’s face primes us for romance and whatever else might arise. Assuming these aphrodisiac qualities create the craving, it’s no wonder wine historically flies off the shelves on Valentine’s Day. And there are so many other passion-driving qualities wine possesses. Wine makes us giddy with youthful energy; causes us to say sappy things and mean them; magnifies a sensual moment; and makes everything taste oh-so much better. It’s pretty amazing how a thoughtfully chosen bottle of wine can increase the pleasure of a simple Valentine’s meal tenfold, no matter what the cost. Remember that on romantic holidays, it really is the thought that counts.

For many people, pink Champagne is the quintessential Valentine’s Day wine — romantic for its tiny stars floating to the top, soft color and rarity. To attain the famous rose color, a small amount of Pinot Noir wine is added at the blending stage after the first fermentation. Not much of this is around, so it’s pricier than most sparklers. But a nice bottle of red is equally sensual, with its warming, languorous affect.

But why wine’s romantic reputation? There are plenty of theories, but one is that society crafted it so. Wine descriptors are rife with romantic adjectives like silky, smooth and velvety, and winemakers are treated as artists since they pour their heart and soul into each bottle. No other edible item reflects its producer’s personality as much as a bottle of wine. But I think it’s really that wine gives you that ultra-relaxed, open-to-anything feeling; a buzz different than most alcoholic beverages.

So whether you’re creating a meal for that special someone, or treating him/her to a night on the town, remember it’s not the price that counts, it’s the love in the bottle.

Recommended WinesJustin 2000 Cal Italia Smooth talking Italian grapes like Sangiovese define this yummy light blend from California’s Central Coast. The endless black cherry flavor will wiggle its way into your sweetie’s heart. $14 4 stars.1999 Sterling Three Palms Merlot Absolutely fabulous wine that will knock your honey’s socks off … and maybe something else. Sexy, intense fruit cornucopia of flavors with red berries, grapes and plums. Not for the faint of wallet. $45 4 1/2 stars.

Cinnabar 2000 Mercury Rising A Bordeaux blend — meaning a blend of grapes that all hail from that French region — this fruit forward, ripe cherry, delicious juice will definitely make the mercury rise. The flavors linger so long, they grab your tongue and don’t let go. Truly a bargain at around $18. 4 1/2 stars.

Liparita Cellars 2001 Sauvignon Blanc For your honey that prefers whites, here’s a Napa Valley beauty that loves food. Loaded with uncharacteristic creaminess, this Sauvignon Blanc has perfectly balanced acids and a melon aroma that will romance anyone. $18 3 1/2 stars.

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé Champagne A full-bodied, dry and intense French rosé Champagne. You can’t run from the titillating dried cherry aroma and rich, smooth feeling on your tongue. This one might be suitable for belly-button shots. $38 3 1/2 stars.

Bonny Doon Framboise, Infusion of Raspberry For something sweet and fun for your fun sweetie, try this whimsical wine from the wacky folks at Bonny Doon. Rich, chock full of raspberry essence, this sensational wine is even under $12. 4 stars.

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