We’re fast approaching Valentine’s Day. And for many that means a special meal, presents and celebratory wine. Below we’ve listed eight top choices from the International Wine & Spirit competition, which is in its 50th year, all of which would be ideal for a romantic meal for two.
The IWSC awards excellence in wine and spirits from all around the world and aims to find the highest quality products. Entries come from around 90 countries, and each sample is judged according to its class and individual components.
Best wines for Valentine’s Day
The chosen wines range from elegant, delicate champagne to toast your loved one, to robust reds with depth and flavour.
The best toasting Champagne
If you want to splash out a little, go for the elegant yet decadent Charles Lafitte Grande Cuvee NV. It’s toasty and has a refined balance on the mouth, with notes of clear, fresh green apple. It’s perfect paired with salty snacks before the main event of the Valentine’s meal.
For an even more lavish treat, choose Lanson Noble Cuvee Blanc de Blancs 2002. This is a beautiful choice for any special occasion and will definitely impress on Valentine’s Day. You’ll enjoy notes of honey, lemon and brioche with flavours of marzipan, golden apples and grapefruit.
Wines perfect for seafood dishes
You can’t have a romantic meal without some kind of seafood. Whether you’re opting for an oyster starter, or a main with King prawns, you need the ideal wine to go with it. Greyfriars Vineyard Sparkling Rose Reserve 2014 is a good choice as it pairs beautifully with delicate yet refined seafood dishes. Packed with lively bubbles, and delicate flavours, it will make your meal stand out for the right reasons.
Or, you could try the crispness of the very fruity La Chabilsienne Chablis Grand Cru Chateau Grenouilles 2014. Jammed with intense fruity flavours, expect a hit of sharp lemon against a background of hazelnut.
Best wines for steak dishes
If your ideal Valentine’s Day meal has a meaty main, such as steak, then you need a wine with sufficient depth of flavour. A great choice to pair with steak is the Trapiche Terroir Series Malbec Finca Ambrosia. Its colour is a deep red and it’s full of the rich flavours of violet, blueberries and jasmine with hints of spiciness, balsamic, coffee and nutmeg.
Or a good choice for steak is Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a jewel like dark ruby red wine, with intense black fruitiness. Expect more than a hint of cherry, tobacco, spice and blackcurrant mingling with a background of vanilla oak.
Wines for dessert
Valentine’s Day is not the day to count calories, and the ideal romantic meal always ends with a decadent dessert. A good dessert wine choice is Andrew Peller Signature Series Riesling Icewine 2015. It’s a distinctively sweet wine with aromas of lemon and peach over flavours of ginger, orange peel and honey. It’s guaranteed to make any dessert even more special.
Or, for a real treat, choose Kopke Porto Colheita 1981, with its rich, dark mahogany colour and deep flavours. You’ll taste dates, dried cherries, spices and roasted cashews in this sweet yet powerful port wine. A crisp acidity cuts through the depth and the whole thing is finished with a creamy flavour.