Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine’s Day and Wine

Even Cupid knows that a good wine is the perfect sharing beverage for Valentine’s Day! Red, the color of love and the color of the wine that most people will choose to drink this Valentines! There is still time to surprise your sweetheart with a bottle of wine to share with at Mercy for Valentines Day. Even if you don’t know your lover’s favorite wine, select one you think you will both enjoy; you really can’t go wrong. Think of it as a time to share and experiment together. Even if you don’t get a chance to come to Mercy this weekend here are some recommendations that I believe will add to the romance of your experience together.

I often describe some wine as being a sexy wine, what this means to me is the first the smell of the wine. When I smell a “sexy wine” I look for scents that remind me of rich chocolate, bright fruit and spices like cloves and cinnamon. All of these fragrants can be associated with this particular day. I then taste the wine and look for all flavors that I found in the bouquet! We all have certain taste for flavors that can be an aphrodisiac for our palate. Most importantly the finish of the wine should be what we say in the wine business as silky and smooth. Look for wines that have these characteristics and you will sweep your lover of his or her feet.

Red Zinfandel should be the perfect Valentine’s Day wine. It is big, deep red with bright fruit, hearty and soft-edge and meant for sheer pleasure. In theory, zinfandel is custom-tailored not only for a day devoted to romance, but also the time of year where it is a chilly and dark month that begs for warmth and heat. Zinfandel by nature embraces traits that kill other wines. It revels in big, hearty gobs of fruit flavor with earthy undertones. Don’t want that much fruit? Get a zinfandel that is blended with cabernet sauvignon. Cabernet will compliment the zinfandel and add a bit richer of a finish.

When we think of Valentine’s, what is one of the first things that come to mind? For me it is hearts and chocolate. Ahhhh, chocolate a sure way to please your lover on this sexy day! In matters of pleasure, chocolate and wine are ideal partners: the marriage of the soft tannins or elegant acidity of wines with meltingly smooth cocoa flavors. For those who have not yet acquired the taste should just breathe in the fragrance of a Merlot, Tempranillo, Grenache or Cabernet Franc. It is not rare for the bouquet of these wines, to hint of cocoa and chocolate. Here are some rules when pairing wine with chocolate:

High quality wine - high quality chocolate.
The higher the cocoa content in the chocolate, the drier the wine may be. Bitter sweet or semi-sweet chocolates are best combined with red wine. The higher the tannin content of a red wine the stronger the chocolate should be. Wine first on the tongue, then the chocolate.

Follow these basic ideas and I can assure you that your evening will be a successful way for you and your loved one to have a perfect romantic evening. See you at Mercy!

Craig Brazeal
Bar Manager