Tis the season for roses, lingerie, chocolate and something special in wine. Sorry, but the latest high-tech gadget doesn’t qualify as a Valentine’s gift.
Wine is surely the oldest seducer of all, and just like romance there are many ways to play it.
The most popular and obvious choice is sparkling wine because it’s inherently seductive. Besides the fizz up your nose and the tingle on your tongue, it actually changes your chemistry. The bubbles raise your blood-alcohol level making you feel lighthearted. As Shakespeare said, “it provokes the desire.” Let’s forget that he also said something about, “taking away the performance.” Splurge on a good bottle of sparkling rosé such as Cuvee Catharine — it’s way more fun than roses.
Cooking dinner for your guy or gal is a great expression of love, especially when you pair it with a rich, cuddly red wine. Forget Shiraz this week and go big time with Italy’s romantic red, Amarone. Opera in a bottle. But start the evening with a glass of a simpler red so when you pour the Amarone the message is clear: “We’re moving into romance.” (MASI 04 Amarone ‘Costasera,’ Italy, LCBO No.: 317057, $34.95.)
Chocolate and raspberry wine (Framboise) is a no brainer. Get some truffles, chill the Framboise, and serve both on a nice plate. (SOUTHBROOK Framboise, Ontario, LCBO No.: 341034, $14.95/375ml.)
As for our recent search for local wines, Cave Spring vineyards is one sure bet. The vineyard butts up to the Niagara escarpment — the rock face of which contains caves and lots of trickling spring water, hence the winery name. These vineyards were planted more than 30 years ago by Len Pennachetti, who later became one of the founders of the modern Niagara wine industry.
Today Cave Spring is probably best known as the leader in Riesling, but it was Chardonnay that first won it fame. This week’s selection is Cave Spring’s everyday Chardonnay: Refreshing and eager to share the stage with a cream sauce dish, or any white meat.