Every year at this time, Valentine ’s Day wine articles are abundant with suggestions of the most romantic wines to share with your loved one. I know, I’ve written a few myself. I like to think that every day is Valentine’s Day, but with all this suggestiveness about what wine to drink, I’ve been thinking: what exactly makes a wine romantic?
Apart from its inherent romance, what makes one wine more sexy than another? What kind of wines set off the neurons in our heads that make us feel romantically inclined? And what is it about those wines that revs our motors?
My sense is this: it depends on the person.
Tastes like a Valentine
If they are into wine at all, you will know what kind of wine turns your lover on. Whatever that is, go with it. There’s no reason to spoil the effect of a candlelight dinner by experimenting with something unknown and possibly unliked.
Friskiness – Go for that zesty sizzle of lively acidity that makes a person feel youthful, light and festive, and willing to throw caution to the wind. Think young or non-vintage Brut or prosecco, dry Riesling, grassy Sauvignon blanc, exotic BC Auxerrois, a Pinot Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, or if you want to stay more sober, a low-alcohol Portuguese Vinho Verde, all of which pair well with oysters, the love crustaceans.
Lushness – Thick, velvety textures are very sexy, and can make a body feel sultry and luxurious and quick to lay down. Think buttery California Chardonnay or white Burgundy, an exotic Argentine Torrontes, spicy Alsacian Gewürtztraminer, high-alcohol Zinfandel, or best of all, ice wine, which pairs surprisingly well with food.
Complexity – Deep thinkers are sexy too. Think mountain-grown Napa Cabernets or aged Bordeaux, ripe Chateauneuf-du-Pape, perfumed red Burgundy, chewy Douro, dense South African Pinotage, or aged Barolo or Champagne to stimulate the intellectual in your life.
Another way to excite your lover with wine is to open something super desirable. Something they have been wanting to try, but could never afford. Making a splurge on a famous bottle definitely demonstrates your intent to make the night special, as well as memorable. Offer something completely unexpected, something that fills your lover’s desire for a wine they’ve read about, but never tried.
Think of all the above bottles, but higher end. Like, Dom Perignon or Cristal Champagne, an Amarone, Screaming Eagle, Sassacaia, Cheval Blanc or a Hungarian Tokay. Feel yourself melt when they say, “You got this for me?”
Bottles with fond memories are always a major turn-on. Think of the wine you fell in love over, your wedding dinner wine, the wine you bought on a weekend getaway together: those are all romantic wine possibilities.
Some people respond to words and images in a big way, and when you have a whole dinner to stare at a bottle, you may want to let its label speak for you. If your lover is visually inclined, there are an increasing number of bottle labels to tickle their retinas.
Here are a few labels that would give anyone ideas.
Ultimately, the perfect Valentine wine is whatever makes you feel warm and gushy, and that all depends upon the unique bond between you and your lover.
Happy Valentine’s Day and please tell me: What wine do you find romantic?