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A Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner

Ottawa Business Journal – Executive Dining Guide

February 6, 2006

So, you have found the perfect Valentine’s Day card that ‘says it all’.  You are on your way to pick up a special gourmet meal just for two, and you have remembered to buy new candles for your special evening with the love of your life.  All that is left is to select a bottle of wine to make the evening perfect.

At the wine store, you are faced with shelves of bottles, colourful labels and foreign words.  With your menu at hand, here are a few tips to help you make your selection:

Plan to start your evening with a glass of sparkling wine – Not only does a bit of bubbly set the mood for the evening, the refreshing wine readies your palette for your gourmet meal.

Choosing a wine for each course:

Start by…Focusing on the country of origin of the food – Wine has been created for centuries to accompany regional food. For example, Italian wine goes well with Italian cuisine, French wines with French cuisine, etc. Pairing the country of origin for both the food and wine is a natural fit.

Next…Pair the wine with the sauce – Like choosing an eye catching tie or a vibrant scarf to transform your suit or dress, select a wine that accentuates the flavours of the marinade or sauce rather than choosing a wine to pair with the meat.

Then…Balance the ‘weight’ of the food and wine – Choose a wine to complement the weight of the cuisine.  A delicate meal of scallops with lemon butter sauce will go best with a light bodied wine with citrus aromas and tastes.  A hearty stew yearns for a substantial full bodied red wine.

Nothing says “I love you” like a dessert wine.  Select a Canadian icewine or a late harvest wine, a port or a sherry as a perfect finish to your Valentine’s dinner.

“Cheers!”

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