Valentine’s wines to fall in love with


Flowers and chocolates may be on the list for some Valentines, but I would rather give or share a great bottle of wine any time. The latest release at the LCBO Vintages offers all kinds of fabulous choices from some new varietals through to some sparkling wines. Try a bubbly to set the mood before any dinner or just enjoy a glass on its own. The Peller Cuvée Ice Rosé Sparkling (a beautiful pink colour in the glass) that I recommend in this release is truly outstanding and worth the splurge.

If you wish to continue a “pink” theme for a Valentine’s dinner, keep in mind the Tawse Rosé.  I have written about this rosé wine in the past, and it is one of my favourites, not to mention its origin is in Canada’s ‘Winery of the Year’, so for something different this is a great pick. It would be delicious paired with fish or some seafood appetizers.

If chicken is on your sweetheart menu, the Norman Hardie Chardonnay 2009 (Prince Edward County) at $35.00 will bring lots of ooohs and aww’s.

Finally, if you happen to have a box of fine Belgian chocolates – after all it is Valentine’s Day – some icewine would be the perfect match. The Megalomaniac Cold Hearted Riesling IceWine is not too hard on the pocketbook priced at $29.95. Deliciously sweet but the refreshing squirt of lemon on the finish sure balances it out.

I hope you find something pink or red and delicious for Valentine’s Day. Here are my picks:




Peller Cuvée Ice Rosé Sparkling

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario (Méthode Classique)
$34.95 (Vintages #113035) 12% alcohol

It is no wonder that this was a winner of a Gold Medal at the Wine Access 2011 Canadian Wine Awards. The winemaker included a dose of Cabernet Fanc icewine in this sparkling wine to create a first class act from start to finish. This vivid pink sparkling wine is elegant, bone dry, has a lovely fine mousse (tiny bubbles) loaded with ripe strawberry and soft peach flavours. I can’t say enough how deliciously yum this tastes.

Three Saints Chardonnay 2009

Santa Barbara County, California, U.S.A.
$20.95 (Vintages #297531) 14% alcohol

Chardonnay just never goes out of style and this full-bodied delight is creamy and luscious. It oozes flavours of savoury butterscotch with layers of ripe tropical fruit. It is dry, smooth, velvety in texture with a peachy-apricot, hazelnut finish. It would be divine with a creamy chicken dish or just on its own with a little sharp cheese. This one is on my “must buy” list.

Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2010

Dominio del Plata, Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #079798) 14.4% alcohol

While the Malbec grape has its origins in France, it has become increasing known as Argentina’s signature grape varietal. Susana did well to make this beauty at a great price. A dark purple-plum colour that exhibits notions of earthiness, blueberries, blackberries and reminiscent of a baked berry pie. It is fruity but dry with soft tannins and a hint of tobacco. A fabulous table wine with any grilled or braised meats.

Sampietrana 1952 Riserva Brindisi 2008

DOC, Puglia, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #310086) 13.5% alcohol

The judges must have found this wine as juicy as I did when they gave it the Golf Medal at the 2011 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. A deep ruby red displaying some violet and lavender on the nose and on the palate a big blast of ripe dark cherries.  The key grape is Negroamaro  grown predominantly in Puglia, often known as the heel of the Italian boot.  There’s a little woodsy, chocolate or mocha on the finish which makes it a great sipper. The old rule for food and wine pairing, “if it grows together it goes together” so it would be a great match for pasta bolognese and traditional meat lasagna.


Grand Total: $ 91.80 

P.S. There’s enough left over to buy a chocolate truffle or two!



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