Valentine’s Day begs to be celebrated with bubbles and chocolate! I can’t think of a better time to pop the cork on a bottle of delicious sparkling wine from Spain and create a luscious, sure to please chocolatey dessert…and that’s exactly what I’m doing on February 14!

My wine and food pairing friends on Facebook and Twitter seem to agree with me.  This holiday is all about sharing our love of food and wine so that all of us (you, too!) can discover interesting and perhaps new, unique ideas.  On Saturday, February 13, at 10:30am Central time, our group will begin a conversation on Twitter as we use the hashtag #winePW.  We would love to hear about your favorite recipes and wines that will make Valentine’s Day your most special.

It didn’t take long to decide upon a recipe that my husband would crave.  He has always enjoyed our family’s traditional recipe for Kissee Cookies with a melt-in-your-mouth Hershey Kiss plopped in the middle of each sugar cookie, still warm from the oven.  This year, one of my daughters found a new recipe, Midnight Cookies made with cocoa and more, from her cookbook, 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies, and other Tempting Treats.  Getting creative, we made simple modifications to our favorite Kissee Cookie: the cocoa in the mix and an addition of a red and white mint Hershey Kiss. Trust me, you’ll be making this recipe again and again because your Valentine will be even more in love.  Don’t forget to serve these rich and decadent chocolate cookies with a scoop of vanilla or peppermint ice cream after you pour a glass of…


Sent to me as a sample was a bottle each of Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry and Segura Viudas Brut Rose, both Cavas from the Penedes region outside of Barcelona, Spain.  True wine lovers know that sparkling wine can be enjoyed alone, as an aperitif with appetizers, with an entrée (fried chicken!), with salads, or with the dessert of your choice. For Valentine’s Day, a glass of Cava with millions of tiny, dancing bubbles will be a celebratory complement to the Midnight Kissee Cookies.


Think pink! The Seguras Viudas Brut Rosé is a sparkling blend of 90% Trepat and 10% Garnacha using the methode champenoise, a traditional technique begun over 100 years ago, to create their distinctive Cava.  The Trepat grape contributes to its fresh fruit profile on both the nose and palate whereas the Garnacha offers body and subtle notes of spice.  I loved the pale strawberry color in the glass with aromas of grenadine, red currants, raspberries, and more strawberries. Tastes of fresh red fruits (juicy cherries…), light, bright acidity, and a gentle finish were lovely.  Your Valentine will be more than impressed and you will have spent only $10! Consider serving the Seguras Viudas Brut Rosé with a cheese platter for appetizers or grilled salmon and green salad.

A few years ago, I visited the Freixenet winery and loved the experience from beginning to end. You may not have time to visit Spain this weekend, but you can enjoy the Cordon Negro Extra Dry, a blend of 35% Macabeo, 25% Xarel-lo, and 40% Parellada, the three grapes in a traditional Cava.  This sparkling, too, is made in the méthode champenoise and is one of the wines that have made Freixenet “the #1 sparkling wine in the world”.  If you’re serving your Valentine’s favorite Italian dish or one with a touch of spice, you’ll love this choice.  With just a hint of sweetness, I found stone fruit, melon, and herbal notes on both the nose and palate and a more than satisfying, lingering finish.  If I were you, I’d open the bottle and start pouring as soon as your Valentine walks in the door! Cost is $12.

Midnight Cookies


  • 9 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
Step 3
Sift in the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Beat until well mixed.
Step 4
With dampened hands, roll walnut-size pieces of the dough into smooth balls. Place on the baking sheets, spaced well apart.
Step 5
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until set. Place a Hershey Kiss candy on each cookie. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely before serving.
Step 6

Midnight Kissee Cookies

Cheers to Valentine’s Day if only because it’s yet another reason to enjoy Cava and cookies! ~ Cindy

For more Valentine’s Day treats, check out these wine and food pairings from the #winePW group~

Jade from Tasting Pour:

– Love Letter Pastries and Brandborg Winery Pinot Noir

-Cherry Hazelnut Scones

Jeff from Food Wine Click Perfect Wine for a Sparkling Valentine’s Day Celebration

Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog Valentine’s Surf and Turf with a Twist and Champagne Pairing

Nancy from Pull That Cork – Shepherd’s Pie and Burgundy: A Cozy Valentine’s Day Pairing

Kirsten of The Armchair Sommelier – My Squashy Valentine

Jennifer from Vino Travels – Sparkle Your Valentine’s Day with Brachetto from the Roero with Demarie

David of Cooking Chat

Cauliflower Kale Soup paired with Pinot

-Sweet Strawberry Cream with Chocolate and Wine Pairing

Michelle from Rockin Red Blog – Valentine’s Day in the South of France with #WinePW

Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere – Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs) and Blanquette de Limoux

Cindy from Grape Experiences:

A Valentine’s Gift: Elegant Anaba Wines

Cava and Crave Worthy Chocolate Cookies for Valentine’s Day

Lori from Draceana WinesNeed a Valentine’s Wine? As You Wish.

Diane from Wine Pass shares – A Lovely Red Risotto with Brachetto d’Acqui

Valerie of Girls Gotta Drink – A Moscato Food Pairing: #Moscato for Breakfast

Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla :

-Cherry-Glazed Chicken with Hahn’s Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

-Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash & Zesty Crayfish with Landmark Vineyards’ Overlook Chardonnay

-Wild Boar Mushroom Pot Pies with Landmark Vineyards’ Overlook Pinot Noir

-Seared Venison Medallions with Justin’s Cabernet Sauvignon

-Rosé-Cured Salmon with Balletto Vineyards’ Brut Rosé

-Epoisses, Crackers, & Cremant de Limoux

Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva:

-Valentine’s Day Steakhouse Dinner at Home

-50 Oysters a Day & Other Tales of Seduction

-Pick a Picpoul de Pinet for Your Valentine

-Smokin’ Duck & Pinot

-Valentine’s Take-In Dinner

-Apple of My Eye Pork Chops & Pinot

-Lobster, Corn Fritters & Balletto

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  1. Reply

    I haven’t tried either of those wines, but the Cordon Negro Extra Dry looks especially intriguing. Wondering if I could possibly find it in Piemonte’?

    • Cindy Rynning


      You could certainly try asking about the Cava! It may be an interesting search!!

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