Valentine’s Day is viewed by many as being commercialism in all its cliché card, cuddly toy, questionable heart-shaped chocolate box glory.  Many snub this tradition because they are just too darn clever, gimmick free and self consumed to partake in such petty behaviors.  This year, stand up to cynicism by spreading the love and purchasing one of the following quality wines for a loved one.

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé NV
Champagne Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Photo Credit Thibault Jeanson drink me Valentine's Wines

Photo Credit: Thibault Jeanson

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
ABV: 12%
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Price: $79.95

This Champagne has the elegance of a good Rosé, the boldness of a full bodied red, and the distinction of a Champagne house that knows its craft well.  Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé NV, in production since 1968, blends several years within the bottle, resulting in the cream of the crop in every sip.  After 5 years of aging, this 100% pinot noir Champagne pigment is rich in color, aroma, and taste.

Carefully selected grapes from several Crus (villages) within the Montagne de Reims and Côte de Bouzy region, are used to produce this celebrated Rosé.  Laurent-Perrier are one of the few Champagne houses to use the saignée method, where bleeding a portion of the red wine juices and leaving them to mingle with the degraded seeds and skin, leads to a high concentration of red wine and therefore a bolder and rounder rosé.

The color of smoked salmon with a raspberry glaze, leaves you confused whether to eat or drink this Champagne.  The juices in your mouth go on overload as the cork pops and you are treated with a nose of red berries and cherries in a grass weaved basket.  The taste is a mouthful of juicy plump fruit with underlined minerality and just the right amount of acidity. This Champagne has the strength and cockiness to handle pairing with most food, even the heavier meats like steak. It’s a quality Champagne that will leave you feeling satisfied with or without a partner.

San Marzano Talò Salice Salentino, 2013
San Marzano Talò Salice Salentino drink me Valentine's Day Wine

Grape Variety: 85% Negroamaro, 15% Malvasia
ABV: 13%
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Price: $16.98

San Marzano has been attracting vine growing families since the 1960’s, and these families have a wealth of historical knowledge when it comes to making a decent wine.  Situated on land that nestles between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, the area benefits from a Mediterranean terrior.  The Talò Salice Salentino 2013 is no exception, aged for six months in French oak barrels the wine has a warm deep ruby color.  The nose is an intense bowl of ripe plums and plump cherries, with an underlining hint of rosemary and olive, which transport the senses to the Mediterranean landscape.  The boldness of the Negroamaro grape blended with the sweetness of the Malvasia grape, ensure this is a dry wine, without a feather spitting aftertaste.   The pop of cherries and plums followed by a refreshing finish, make this a great pairing with red meats, strong cheese or smoked meats.

Chapoutier, Côtes du Rhône Belleruche Blanc, 2016
M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Belleruche Blanc 2016 drink me Valentine Wine

Grape Variety: Grenache Blanc, Roussane, Viognier, Clairette, Bourboulenc
ABV: 13.5%
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Price: $18.99

In the Rhône region of France, predominantly known for its red wines, you will find one of the oldest vineyards, M. Chapoutier.  They have been producing wine since 1808, and they are well known for using both historical and forward thinking wine crafting methods.  Flying the flag for biodynamic methods, as well as exploring cutting edge techniques, this brand will have a place at the table for many years to come.

Côtes du Rhône Belleruche Blanc 2016 hails from the right side of the Rhône, known for its sandy soils.  The grapes are pressed with the ancient method of débourbage, which is used to let the juice separate for 24 hours.  This time consuming method enables the solid and the liquid to separate naturally, and it is believed to help minimize filtering at a later stage.

After five months on the lees, this delightful wine is ready to be consumed.  On first pour, there is evidence of its introverted yellow color.  The lack of a strong color is quickly made up for the abundance of aromas that dance out of the bottle.  One can almost imagine standing amongst the hedge rows, with wildflowers, crab apples and sweet freshly cut grass.  The tasting notes are enchanting with a blend of pear and apples, mixed with a honey smooth texture.  With a mouthful of spring and summer parasols around your taste buds in a romantic swirl of exhilaration, this wine is complex, flavorsome, and a great deal to accompany any meal.

Enjoy any of the above wines paired with a night of romance, love, and excitement.  As cliché as that sounds, Laurent-Perrier, M. Chapoutier, and San Marzano are all a great match for your Valentine.