Rather than lump everyone together in one post, let’s face it: Valentines Day is one of the most divisive holidays out there – it pits singletons squarely against couples. So, in honor of the holiday’s tendency to separate us into categories, I’ve crafted three distinct versions of the same post, all with the same pairing suggestions at the end:
• If you are attached this V-day please see section A
• If you are sad and single this year please skip down to section B
• If you are single and lovin’ it, head on down to section C
A. Whether you’re the bearskin-rug and glowing fireplace type of romantic or the trail of rose petals leading to the bed type (or, erm, like some of us, somewhere closer to shaving your legs for a change), wine can only enhance your Valentines Day. As Cher Horowitz (ahem, Clueless – duh!) so famously put it, wine makes people feel like, sexy, and so should be the obvious choice. This may also explain wine’s usual starring role in any scene-right-before-they-do-it in any romantic comedy worth watching this V-day.
Chocolate is also a star player on this particular holiday – whether it’s making its cameo in a heart-shaped box or a pot of edible body paint (and god knows you’re gonna need some wine if you’ve decided to go the latter route). Luckily, wine and chocolate go together as perfectly as you and your honey. I’ve provided some great pairing options below (just skip on past all that babbling about single people…that’s not you this year!).
B. If you’re single this year, wine has the amazing ability to get you drunk – in style. Even if you’re at home shoveling ice cream while you clutch at the carton and watch cheesy movies on TV, as long as you’ve got a bottle of wine open on the coffee table, things just got classed up a notch. And you know what else? Drink just enough wine and you’ll feel great.
As long as you’re already indulging why not throw some chocolate into the mix? Chocolate and wine get along just swimmingly and they’ll both make you feel better about things…until the next morning. For tips on just how to pair your chocolate and wine, see below.
C. Alright so that whole Bridget Jones-esque scenario I just played out above? Screw it. If you’re single this year, take the opportunity to (oh, this is gonna sound so corny) appreciate yourself. Give a little love – to yourself. That’s right…I went there. And you know what’s a great way to appreciate yourself? Treating yourself to a nice bottle of wine because you deserve it. Maybe you’re planning a night with your friends this V-day – but that’s no reason not to indulge! Don’t skimp on the frills just because you’re not celebrating with someone who is going to have sex with you later.
While you’re at it, why not expand your horizons and blow your mind by bringing in wine’s (and V-day’s) ideal companion: chocolate. See my wine and chocolate pairing suggestions (all chocolate suggestions are available to order online) below for a fabulous and delicious night.
Pairing Wine with Chocolate
Casanova Caramel Collection from Theo Chocolate: Ginger Rose Caramel, Grey Salted Vanilla Caramel, Lavender Caramel.
Pair with: This whole set begs to be paired with Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
Try: Mossback Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2009 ($19) for its silky texture, notes of chocolate and caramel, and soft tannins. Also, a good bet would be the Chanrion Cote De Brouilly Beaujolais Domaine de La Voute Des Crozes 2009 ($16) with its rich body, floral perfume, and tasting notes of dark chocolate and a tinge of granite that would make the grey salt really pop.
CoCo Luxe Valentine’s Truffles: Champagne, Pure Devotion (pure dark chocolate), and Roses (white chocolate rose and honey ganache inside dark chocolate)
Pairs with: This is a set of truffles that could go well with either a Reisling or a Syrah depending on what flavors you want to bring out. If you choose a Reisling it will bring out the white chocolate and really emphasize the honey flavor of the Roses Truffle. A Syrah would be a better match for the Pure Devotion truffles, emphasizing the fruit and spice of the chocolate.
Try: Seven Hills Reisling Columbia Valley ($12) for its off-dry and on the sweeter side notes of honey and white peach. If you go the Zinfandel route, try Qupe Syrah Central Coast 2007 ($18 and one of my personal favorites) for its rich body, juicy flavors, and bright spice.
Gem Chocolates: 5-piece Sampler with Conquistadores (spicy citrus-flavored habanero chili, a hint of cinnamon in dark chocolate), Cha-Cha (cherry and chili in dark chocolate), Razzle (raspberry and vanilla white chocolate inside ganache), Masala (a blend of Indian spices in milk chocolate), and Praline (ground almonds and caramelized sugar in milk chocolate).
Pairs with: If you’re looking to turn up the heat on all the interesting spices in these chocolates, definitely go with Zinfandel. If, on the other hand, you’re more interested bringing out all those fruity flavors, I’d suggest picking up a bottle of Merlot.
Try: Li Veli Orion Primitivo 2007 ($14) for its spicy nose, flavors of chocolate and cherries, and rich body. For a Merlot, try Robert Keenan Carneros Merlot 2006 ($24 – another one of my personal favorites). With its silky mouth feel, notes of jammy berries and a tinge of cocoa, and subtle spice.