Tuesday, February 9, 2010

wines to seduce by

Valentine's Day is coming up, and the mood is getting sexy. What better way to bring on those primal urges then by opening up a sensual bottle of vino? I was originally going to link to another blogger's post or article about sensual wines, but I couldn't find one ... so alas, the task falls unto me. When you're wanting to get that yearly fix of Cupid's love, here are a few wine-related tricks to seal the deal. I'll mention a few potential Valentine's Day dates, then suggest the wine variety (and a potential bottle) to match it.

1. Breakfast in Bed:
You can't go wrong with a fabulous mimosa or champagne with breakfast in bed. It's the perfect way to start the day, and tells your lover right away that not only do you know it's Valentine's Day (which is a mistaken people, mostly men, can sometimes make with their partners), but that you want them to have a memorable one. Try a Blanc de Blancs, like the 2006 Gloria Ferrer ($12-$16, Safeway), so that it doesn't overpower the taste of the OJ. And don't forget, use fresh-squeezed or not-from-concentrate juice!
Be sure to sneak out of bed early so that you can start breakfast without waking them. Choose something simple, like croissants and fresh fruit. I like Trader Joe's overnight chocolate croissants - you leave them out overnight on the counter and they puff like magic! Just be sure to use an egg glaze on the top before baking them, gives them that fresh-from-the-bakery look.

2. Outdoor Picnic:
When going out for a nice picnic, either on the beach, at a park or any other romantic locale, I'd definitely recommend bringing a Chardonnay. White wines are better to enjoy outdoors, in my opinion, because they're crisp and fresh; which only serves to heighten the relaxed, easygoing feelings of being out of the house. Plus, any spills caused by natural factors (like tiny bumps on the ground or accidentally pulling on the tablecloth) are easily concealed. If you're looking for a light, crisp Chardonnay, look no further than Heller Estate's 2007 Chardonnay ($25, Safeway). It was named one of the top 5 U.S. Chardonnays by the Wall Street Journal, and has a fabulously light flavor that doesn't reek or oak or malolactic fermentation. Be sure to bring along some top-notch cheeses (Brie is always a fabulous choice), fresh-sliced gourmet meat from the delicatessen and, of course, fresh grapes to feed to your sweetie.

3. Dining Out:
If you're going the traditional route and taking your Valentine out to dinner (have you made your reservation yet, by the way?), first do yourself a favor and follow this advice: unless you have a rare/vintage bottle you've been saving for this special occasion, do not bring a bottle of wine to the restaurant! It makes you look cheap. Instead, figure out beforehand what your partner is hungry for and plan to order a varietal to accompany it. Looking for something spicy? Get a light white to start, like a Sauvignon Blanc, then follow it with a Pinot Noir or Merlot. Something rich and deep, like a steak? A rich, jammy Cabernet or Syrah is the way to go. Be sure to talk with the waiter (or sommelier, depending on where you're going) about the different wine choices while you're looking. Give them a chance to suggest something as well ... and if they don't have the knowledge to back it, then just choose for yourself.

4. Dessert at Home:
Heading back home for some "quiet time"? Be sure to bring out the end-of-the-night dark chocolates to enjoy with your hun! They're a powerful aphrodisiac that gives you a chance to hand-feed each other, which is fantastic foreplay. What could be better? Well, a fantastic Port, for one! Be sure to go authentic and get one from Portugal, it shows you know your stuff. Plus, it's rich in texture and heavy in alcohol. I don't have any immediate suggestions for a good Porto, but I'll keep an eye out and let you know later on this week.
Also, you could try a great Ice Wine with some ice cream.

Happy tasting (and loving)!


  1. Great suggestions!

    Happy V-Day to you! :)

  2. Good suggestions for those with a significant other..Us single folks will just open a bottle of wine and watch a funny movie. Maybe order a pizza or have some Chinese takeout. :-)

  3. Thanks, Carufel! Papa Murphy's has those stupid heart-shaped pepperoni pizzas right now! :)