Valentine’s Day can very easily turn into a horribly commercial and stressful affair; rather than a day of showing adoration for your beloved. I can’t help with the yanked up restaurant prices, your at-home seafood preparations or monitor your Valentine’s card or music list choice. [Warning: Spotify’s ‘Valentine’s Day in Love’ play list would be nausea inducing for most.] However, below I have provided some tips for common wine dilemmas which can occur either dining out or at home. The main thing is to have fun when choosing your wine and how to enjoy it…
You don’t know which wine to choose –
When in doubt go rosé! Whether it’s a refreshing pretty rosé Champagne, a seductive salmon skin coloured rosé from Provence or a radiant and robust Garnacha based rosé from Spain – rosé is definitely the most food friendly style. It has the fruit of white wine combined with the structure of red. When in doubt pair the lighter coloured of Rose with the more delicate dishes. Rosé Champagne is amazing with seafood and even sushi; whilst a ruby coloured rose could definitely be paired with meat dishes, cheese platters and even with a bit of spice.
Wines with something sweet –
Forget extravagant tasting menus – you actually only want to eat chocolate and toast sweet nothings with your loved one. No problem at all – you can still drink wine of all styles but you do need to be more mindful. Chocolate actually dries out the fruit in wine and makes the tannins (the grippy sensation on your tongue) more apparent which doesn’t do the wine many favours. For an optimal pairing go for a wine that is sweeter than the actual pudding or chocolate that you are enjoying. Sauternes and Port are safe but Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Ice wine and Late Harvest Rieslings are different and infinitely more versatile
You need something to get you in the mood. And we are not talking Barry White –
You have had a tiring day at work and your natural default isn’t exactly being Casanova. Alcohol has been used for centuries as a natural aphrodisiac. In regards to wine, red wine is rich in resveratrol, a form of antioxidant which increases estrogen production and therefore arguably your sex drive. Wine essentially helps to relax you as well as honing your senses. However be warned, if you are really exhausted, a full bodied red like Malbec or Aussie Shiraz may lead to an even more natural desire… sleep.
Chilling a last minute sparkling wine purchase –
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put your bottle in the freezer. Due to thermal conductivity – which I will not go into here – bubbles will chill much faster in cold water than cold air. Grab a container which you can lay most of the bottle down in. Fill it with ice, water and the magical ingredient – salt! Salt reduces the freezing point of water which allows it to get even colder. If you are really in a hurry you can swirl the bottle around making sure that every part of it is submerged in your salty ice bath. Don’t be too enthusiastic with the swirling though – you want to keep some of the liquid inside once the cork is popped. With sufficient amounts of salt, water covering and discerning swirling your bottle should be ready to enjoy in 15 minutes.
Hope these tips were useful and helped make your Valentine’s Evening even more enjoyable and fun!