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The Best Types of Wine for Valentine’s Day

The Best Types of Wine for Valentine’s Day

Of course, any evening with a nice bottle of wine is a good one. But, what about those special occasions like Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re celebrating your first Valentine’s Day as a couple or your 40th one, taking the time to fix a delicious meal and appreciate your time together is one way to make the occasion memorable.

And nothing can complement a perfect Valentine’s Day meal quite like the ideal bottle of wine. Whether your plans consist of the ultimate snack spread and a movie or a candlelit gourmet feast, here are some of the best types of wine to include in your Valentine’s Day plans this year.

Champagne as a Classic Choice

Of course, champagne is probably the first thing most people think of when it comes to celebrating love. A sparkling wine produced in northern France, champagne is made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes and can come in a variety of styles. Some foods that pair well with champaign include fish and lobster, anything with mushrooms, scrambled eggs (think brunch), cheese, pasta with cream sauce, and even potato chips.

Chardonnay with Your Cheese Platter

It’s hard not to picture sitting by a roaring fire having a glass of wine and some cheese with the one you love. After all, wine and cheese are the perfect pairing. Chardonnay is always a good choice for your wine and cheese time, but you can make adjustments depending on what type of cheese you plan to serve. For example, Chardonnay is a full-bodied white wine. So, it pairs well with semi-soft and soft cheeses like brie, camembert, and gruyere.

Chianti with a Pasta Dish

If you’re planning a simple, romantic Italian dinner for Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to pair your pasta with the right Italian wine. A classic Chianti is a medium-bodied red wine that is an excellent choice with tomato-based pasta dishes. Check out a Chianti Classico, referring to wine from the original zone where the vintage originated. If you are planning to serve creamy pasta dishes, you might want to opt for a chardonnay instead.

Pinot Noir with a Charcuterie Board

If you want to go beyond a cheese plate to a full charcuterie board, you may wish to choose a rose or light red wine with higher acidity like Pinot Noir. This is the world’s most popular light red wine because it has soft tannins and notes of strawberry, earth, and rose, making it slightly sweet. This type of wine goes well with those same soft and semi-soft cheeses as well as the meats, nuts, and other items you’ll find on a charcuterie board.

Cabernet Sauvignon for Meat-lovers

Maybe your special dinner plans call for cooking a nice cut of meat like a Chateaubriand, Porterhouse, Ribeye, or Filet Mignon. If you and your loved one are meat lovers, a bottle of cabernet sauvignon is an excellent choice. Made from the world’s most popular grape variety, this wine is grown in warm climates like California. It gives a dry, rich, spicy, and fruity flavor, which pairs well with red meat dishes.

Valpolicella with Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? Some couples wait for a special occasion to make or order a pizza. Or maybe you would rather spend your time together rather than cooking and cleaning dishes. Either way, an Italian red wine with moderate tannins is the ideal match for your Valentine’s pizza meal. Valpolicella is a medium-bodied red wine that is light, dry, and fresh, making it a perfect match for various types of pizza. More specifically, try Valpolicella Russo, which will have hints of black and red cherry along with herbs that complement the pizza’s tomato sauce.

Riesling with a Spicy Meal

If your Valentine’s Day meal is going to have an extra kick to it, make sure you pair it with a Riesling. This aromatic, slightly sweet white wine is the perfect complement to any spicy dish. So, if you plan to have Mexican, Indian, or Thai food, the low alcohol and sweetness of the Riesling will temper some of the heat of the meal.

Let Nick’s of Clinton Help With Your Wine Choices

If you have any questions about choosing the right wine for your Valentine’s Day celebration or any other meal, feel free to ask one of our associates directly. Nick’s of Clinton has a dedicated liquor department, offering one of the largest varieties of wine, beer, and spirits in Southern Maryland – at the lowest prices. We are always happy to assist with suggestions or even place a special order for your upcoming event.

Choosing the Right Wine for Any Meal

Selecting the right wine to go with your meal can be intimidating. While a poor choice is not likely to ruin your lunch or dinner, the right pairing can significantly enhance just about any dish.

The good news when matching food and wine is, you do not have to memorize any complex systems to create the right combination. It’s not rocket science. Of course, it is always fun to experiment to create dramatic matches, but that is a more advanced strategy. If you are just looking to get your wine choice right, a few simple guidelines will help you make the most satisfying food and wine pairings.

Consider Your Guests’ Wine Preferences and Experience

Before you narrow your focus too much, consider what your guests might like as well as their experience with wine. Do they prefer red or white wine? Have they stated a preference for a certain country, region, or varietal

If your guests are fairly new to wine, they might not notice the distinction between your thirty-dollar bottle and one that costs a hundred dollars or more. But, if they have extensive wine tasting experience, they will likely recognize the subtle differences in varietals and even be able to distinguish a particular vineyard.

Compare the Intensity of the Wine With the Dish

When thinking about how to pair wine with food, make sure you consider the intensity of what you will be consuming. For example, a full-bodied red wine doesn’t pair well with a lighter dish that has delicate flavors. But a white wine does.

Likewise, few white wines are going to pair well with a heavy, rich dish that has bold flavors like red meat. But a red wine typically suits this type of dish well.

In general, you should pair appetizers and desserts with white wines and the main course with red wines. There, of course, are always exceptions.

Choose a Semi-Sweet or Sweet Wine for Salty Dishes

If you are going to serve a dish that contains a lot of salt, it is a good idea to counter that with a semi-sweet or sweet wine. This creates more of a balance on the palate. Some examples of sweeter wines include Moscato, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Champagne.

A few low-tannin red wines can also work in this situation. Examples are Pinot Noir and Beaujolais. A rosé wine is another option.

Select an Acidic Wine for Acidic Foods

Are you serving highly acidic dishes containing foods like tomatoes, citrus, and fish? If so, you should pair your dish with an acidic wine like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Albarino, or Champagne. These high-acid wines also pair well with oily or fatty dishes because they help cut through that oil and will cleanse the palate.

Choose a Well-Known Label

Maybe you are a fan of a specific label but are not sure that your guests will appreciate it as much as you do. Unless you believe that it will be a sure hit, it might be better to save it for another time. You are more likely to impress your dinner guests with your pairing abilities if you choose a major label, such as one from Sonoma, Napa Valley, or Santa Barbara.

Combine Wines With Food from the Same Region

As a general rule, it is a good idea to combine foods and wines that come from the same region. For example, a Chianti will complement well with your favorite Italian dish, and a Riesling is going to pair favorably with a freshly prepared German schnitzel.

Choose a Rosé or Sparkling Wine as a Safe Bet

Maybe you do not know what’s on the menu or aren’t sure about your guest’s preferences. In either case, you are generally safe choosing a bottle of rosé or sparkling wine. Both are incredibly versatile and will go with just about any dish. And most people are happy with either.

Match Your Dessert Wine to the Dessert

The pairing doesn’t stop once the main course is complete. You should switch wines and complement your dessert wine according to the sweetness of your dessert. This is more complex than it sounds. Your wine should be at least as sweet as the dessert, or you will not be able to discern the complexity of the wine.

Get Help with Your Wine Choices

If you have any questions about choosing the right wine for your meal, feel free to ask one of our associates directly. The liquor department at Nick’s offers one of the largest varieties of wine, beer, and spirits in Southern Maryland – and at the lowest prices. We are always more than happy to make suggestions or even special order something for your upcoming event.