Wines for Valentine's Day
A bouquet of blossoms, the color of romance, the scent of seduction ... with floral-scented wines and gorgeous rosés you get a delicious, shareable bouquet in a bottle.
Don't let the name fool you, the wine won't taste like perfume. The so-called "floral" grape varieties have the flavor of delicious fruit but carry an aroma that's just as irresistible.
Here are some of my favorites:
Viognier - This grape hails from France's Rhone Valley, but many California versions are easier to find and priced right. Try RH Phillips EXP for less than $20 or Calera Mt. Harlan for a worth-it splurge.
Gewurztraminer - This grape has the smell of exotic tropical blossoms. Look for Hugel from Alsace in France, and Navarro from California and Hogue from Washington State.
And for a true bouquet in a bottle, many wineries produce blends of these grapes. For a magical mélange of all the floral scents, look for Sokol-Blosser Evolution from Oregon, or Folie a Deux Winery's Menage a Trois from California.
If it's hot and heavy, there is no other drink for your Valentine than rosé Champagne (the real stuff is from France, headquarters of love). Look for Gosset, Billecart-Salmon or Veuve Clicquot Rose Reserve.
For foodies, any of these dry rosés would be the perfect wine on which to build a romantic meal:
Solorosa, California - The gorgeous fragrance and flavor of strawberry and watermelon make this one of my favorite California rosés.
Charles Melton Grenache Rosé, Australia - The Grenache grape is perfect for rosé, yielding a slightly spicy flavor that's sure to heat up your evening.
Domaine Ott Rose, France - If you can't bring your Valentine to the south of France, bring it to her. I found this delicious bottling on a trip to Provence; it's perfect with goat cheese (look for the little discs crusted in pansy or lavender blossoms for extra romance).