“How deep is your love?” the Bee Gees once asked. The same could be asked about your choice of Valentine’s Day wine. Are you planning a cozy fete to express your feelings or do you require a vinous prelude to a night out on the town? Whatever the case, here are three bold wines to represent your big love.
Love is sweet, but it doesn’t endure if it’s only sweetness and no depth. Wine is the same, and rarely does one find more sublime balance than in the Marc Tempé Pinot Blanc Zellenberg 2008 ($30, The Country Vintner). This Alsatian wonder sports scintillating flavors of peach and ripe pear laced with honeysuckle, but it’s all on a leash of electric acidity that prevents the wine from seeming dessert-wine sweet. The whole amazing affair is supported by a low rumble of slate minerals, like the roll of thunder on a summer day. Pairing this wine with poultry, seafood, or fine cheese is wonderful—but only if you can resist draining the bottle before the food is ready.
Saturated crimson and scarlet is the pigment of Valentine’s, and it’s also the striking color of the KitFox Vineyards “Foxy” Red 2008 ($16, Noble Vintners). It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that’s stuffed with cassis and plum, and a dollop of cedar spice. The wine is awash in flavor, a plush pillow saturated with freshly crushed fruit. Serve it with a fine steak or lamb chops, but it’s also perfect for curling up with on a chilly night in front of a roaring fire.
One Valentine’s Day ruby that won’t break the bank is Quinta do Infantado Ruby Port ($18, Bacchus Importers Ltd.). It’s rare to find a port that is grown and produced by a single family, but such is the case with this one. The result is a wine with real personality. It possesses the bright kirsch notes that one expects, but it isn’t quite as sweet as the mass-produced versions. Instead, it shows off flashes of flinty, chalky mineral notes and a long, juicy finish that tastes almost exactly like the skins of the darkest, ripest cherries you’ve ever had. Chocolate-dipped strawberries in your future? This is your wine.