Sensual wines add romance to Valentine’s Day

We interrupt our best value wine search for a little romance and thoughts of Valentine’s Day.


My column is designed for guys because guys need help at Valentine’s. This day stresses them, and often prompts James Bond-style extravagances on bottles of Bollinger Champagne. Forget it guys. Your partner doesn’t want to be impressed, she wants love and attention, which you can do with wine — several bottles of it.


I suggest you orchestrate a series of wine treats. Different experiences, different sized bottles, and different ways of showing you care.


Start the day with a split of Muscat wine at breakfast. A nice low alcohol, sweet, highly perfumed drink. No big deal, but it shows you’ve remembered. Because the bottle is tiny she’ll know to expect more later and you’ll be viewed as thoughtful.


For evening cocktails, pour a dry Muscat. Very refreshing and wonderfully teasing. Muscat is the most sensual of all wine fragrances. It will make her take notice. You could do a seafood appetizer with this. After a glass or two say, “I’m going to pop the bottle in the fridge so we can do this again tomorrow.” Affirming the relationship is a good idea.

Naturally you’ll cook her favourite supper which hopefully is something that works with your next wine — a seductive Zinfandel. It’s way more exotic than Cabernet.

Act 4 can be fireside or bedroom. It’s time for a smooth, charming Port. Not the traditional dark-bottled, old men’s stuff, but something delicate and romantic. It’s the ideal bedtime sipper, with or without chocolate.

That’s it. Your stash will cost less than a bottle of Bollinger, and chances are she’ll be impressed.

Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of the most useful wine book on the market, Billy’s Best Bottles Wines for 2007, a guide to the best wines at the LCBO. Available in bookstores or at For LCBO Vintages recommendations, wine events and in-home wine tastings, visit


• Martini & Rossi Asti, Italy

LCBO No.: 361790

Price: 200 ml/$3.45

• Cave Spring ’05 Chardonnay Musque, Niagara

LCBO No.: 246579

Price: $15.95

• Ravenswood ’04 Zinfandel ‘Vintners Blend’, California

LCBO No.: 359257

Price: $19.95

• Warre’s ‘Otima’ 10-year-old Tawny Port, Portugal

LCBO No.: 566174

Price: 500 ml/$21.95