If there is any holiday worthy of wine picks, it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s not just the luscious, sensual feelings evoked by a red wine or the thrill of ice cold bubbly on your tongue. There’s something about the act of sharing a bottle of wine with someone that makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day. Yes, you can share a beer or you can have the same cocktails (which are great for before or after dinner, of course), but during a meal — or perhaps long after dinner and dessert have concluded — a bottle of wine unites two people in a special way.
Because of this, you want a wine that matches the situation. A classy dinner deserves a classy bottle of wine and what promises to be a wild romp in the sheets dictates a bottle of something fresh and fun. If you happen, for some reason, to be going on a Tinder date on Valentine’s Day, you can still use this list, but this one might be better.
So that you don’t have to think about what to pick up before Valentine’s Day, we spoke to an expert to get his thoughts on what bottles we should be purchasing this year. Jeff “The Winesman” Vejr is a winemaker and one of the three owners of the Portland, Oregon’s subterranean wine bar Les Caves. He broke down for us five wines that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Whether you need a little tingle on the tongue or you want something that is known far and wide as the “Pappy Van Winkle of sherry,” Vejr has got you covered.
(Okay, one of them is a cider, but it’s a damn good cider and, since apples, pears, and quince, are also fruits, we’re counting it.)
Franck Besson 2017 ‘Granit’ Sparkling Rosé of Gamay
From Beaujolais, France
“It’s pink. It’s not sweet. These bubbles were made for both him and her to enjoy. Dry, lean, fresh, and just the right amount of red fruit aromatics.”
Cidrerie du Vulcain ‘Trois Pépins’ Demi-Sec Cider
From Fribourg, Switzerland
“This is not your typical cider. An incredible co-fermentation of apple, pear, and quince fruits. The kiss of sweetness is just enough to elevate this cider into the ‘greatest cider in the world’ category.”
Ovum 2017 ‘Off the Grid’ Riesling
From Illinois Valley, Oregon
“You only think that you don’t like Riesling. This dry, crisp, electric Riesling will change your mind about this much misunderstood white wine. Pair with fresh oysters and taste the ocean.”
Vignale di Cecilia 2015 ‘Covolo’ Merlot and Cabernet
From Veneto, Italy
“From the ‘Right Bank’ of the Piave River, this wine has all the elegance and body of a great Italian red wine. Bonus: Priced at a fraction of similar wines from Bordeaux or Napa.”
Bodegas Tradición 30-Year V.O.R.S Amontillado
From Jerez, Spain
“Dubbed the Pappy Van Winkle of the sherry world, this dry sherry will quickly change your mind about what sherry can be. This multi-layered fortified beverage will remind you to slow down and enjoy life’s finer moments.”