Hello! How have you been? I am so relieved to see the sun – finally! Vancouver broke a 50-year-old record with insane amounts of rainfall over the past two months – yuck, yuck and yuck. While rain doesn’t usually bother me, the sheer amount of it was startling and I did have to remember, ‘this too shall pass’. And, hallelujah, it has (for the moment).
Ok, so I have to admit that I am a bit of a sentimentalist and a romantic. I am also a bit of a cynic so the whole Valentine’s Day ‘thing’ can send me for a philosophical spin. However, true to my nature, I love any reason to celebrate so, this month, Valentine’s Day is a ‘go’!
Whether you will be curling up beside your sweetie at home, dropping off an anonymous bottle of wine to someone who has caught your eye, or – you are your own special Valentine, I’ve got some great choices for you – two per category all at the B.C. liquor stores.
Sparkling = Romance
- Road 13 Vineyards Sparkling Chenin Blanc Golden Mile Bench B.C. VQA 2015 – I am a banner-waving fan of British Columbia wines – happily, more and more of the world is catching on. Road 13 Vineyard proprietors, Pam and Mick Luckhurst, are the type of hardworking people who are also passionate about all that B.C. has to offer. Road 13’s Sparkling Chenin Blanc is succulent – think Okanagan tree fruit flavours mixed with a hint of pink grapefruit citrus alongside fresh biscuits straight from the oven. Oh yes. This charming bottle of sparkling Chenin Blanc will delight your Valentine. $39.99
- Champagne Larmandier Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Champagne, France – Ohhh la la! If you are searching for a bottle of bubbles to really make a lasting impression, look no further. I, personally, have visited this great premier cru house located in one of my favourite Champagne villages of Vertus. Made entirely of sustainably grown Chardonnay grapes and boasting only 4 grams of residual sugar, this champagne really is a knockout. Beautifully crafted with flavours of brioche, lemon peel and cream – it has great structure and tantalizing minerality. $76.99
Rosé Instead of Roses
- Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Languedoc Rosé Languedoc, France 2018 – I really do love rosé – it is fun, pretty, feels like sunshine on the beach, and can taste incredible. Last year, in France, David and I enjoyed a few bottles of this rosé and we were never disappointed. It is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grape varieties. With a lovely composition of watermelon, cranberry, red currant and lemon citrus – this bottle will let your Valentine know just how lovely they are. $24.99
- Domaine Vallon des Cigales Rosé Reserve 2018 Varois en Provence, France – Provence is the classic ‘home’ of rosé wine – you cannot walk a block down the street without feeling like you are missing something if you are not sipping on a chilled glass of this gorgeous wine. This rosé boasts six grape varieties that all come together to make a delicate and delicious glass of wine. It is dry with a great undercurrent of minerality and full of fresh raspberry and strawberry flavours. $19.99
Love the Wine You’re With – White
- Sartarelli ‘Tralivio’ Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Italy – Do you have a Valentine that enjoys unexpected surprises? Well, this wine will delight. The Sartarelli family does something quite unique in Italy – they focus on one single grape variety which is Verdicchio. This wine comes from the family’s oldest vineyard and has been carefully tended and grown. You will find beautiful floral notes in the wine as well as flavours of almond tart and fresh apricots. An excellent choice for a budding wine lover or a budding romance. $26.99
- Topiary Wines Chardonnay 2017 Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa – For me, any day is a perfect day for a well-crafted glass of Chardonnay. But, for Valentine’s Day, I have found something very special indeed. From famed Burgundian winemaker, Philippe Colin, here is a Chardonnay to dazzle and impress. Colin owns Topiary Wines in South Africa and imparts his Burgundy-style winemaking at its best. This Chardonnay sees one year of ageing in 450 litre Rousseau Piano oak which delivers beautiful complexity and structure to the wine. You will find flavours of honeydew melon, vanilla wafer, jasmine and lime zest. An incredible value at $39.99
Love the Wine You’re With – Red
- Tenuta Guado al Tasso ‘Il Bruciato’ 2017 Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy – How could I ever think of writing a Valentine’s Day wine list and not include a red from one of the most romantic countries in the world? There is just something about Italian wine that exudes charm and passion. Here is a beautiful wine made about one hour from Florence. It is a Bordeaux-inspired blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The flavour profile is concentrated and focused with velvety notes of sweet spice, licorice, toasty oak, vanilla and plum. Swoon-worthy. $33.99
- Whistler Estate Shiraz 2016 Barossa Valley, Australia – Here is an impressive red wine for the most discerning of sweethearts. Deep violet in colour, this Shiraz is bursting with the flavours of blueberry, plum, black currant, coffee, vanilla and black pepper. It has spent 20 months of ageing in oak. This wine has a silky texture yet is sexy and round on the palate. I would say this wine has incredible depth and balance – very attractive qualities – in people and in wine. $34.99
Whatever you decide to get up to or whom you choose to celebrate with, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day and a year filled with love, happiness and good wine.