Where is the most romantic country on the planet to spend Valentine’s Day? France. Stand in a park or relax at a bistro for only a moment and you’ll observe couples holding hands, looking madly, deeply into the other’s eyes, and acting as if they’ll never see each other again (maybe they won’t!). Then again, the alluring beauty and charm of French cities, towns, and villages, exquisite cuisine, beautiful flowers, inspiring cathedrals, stunning chateaux, and wines (of course!) evoke feelings of romance. Vive le France!
For most of us, celebrating l’amour
on Valentine’s Day in Paris will have to wait – not everyone is lucky enough to be whisked away for a memorable l’aventure romantique
in the City of Lights. Thanks to seductive wines from France, however, romance can come to you and that special someone…whether you’re lounging in the cozy comfort of your home, talking sweet nothings at a candlelit corner table at your favorite restaurant, or eagerly anticipating that luxurious hotel room you booked for the night (I hope you didn’t forget the rose petals).
The four wines reviewed below (all sent as samples) will more than satisfy everyone’s romantic notions…and palate. With every sip, your toes will curl and your eyes will glisten with thanks and adoration. Trust me, you and your love will be planning a trip to France by the end of the evening – these wines are simply irresistable.
Champagne Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvée ($58) – Champagne Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee is from Reims, one of the most important towns in the Champagne region of France. This stunning bubbly is elegant and complex – exactly what you want your Valentine’s Day (and evening) to be. Consisting of mostly Chardonnay, the color in the glass is of pale straw. Enticing aromas include rich tropical fruit, subtle notes of raspberry and candied cherries (thanks to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, grapes included in the blend). On the palate, lively flavors of French brioche, almonds, juicy citrus, cherries, and blackberries were deliciously prevalent. And those dancing bubbles! My palate was entertained and delighted from the first sip to last “ahhhh”. Champagne Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvée will be the quintessential choice to pour as soon as your Valentine walks in the door. Complemented with a plate of French cheeses or gougères, you may want to drink Champagne all night long…
Les Vignes de Bila-Haut 2015
Aromas of fresh lemon, succulent grapefruit, white flowers and a salty breeze from the ocean are guaranteed to delight your wine lover on Valentine’s Day. From the Cotes du Roussillon, located in southwest France, this blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Macabeu delivered enticing flavors of juicy citrus, subtle notes of smoke, lip smacking acidity, a round mouthfeel, and a satisfying finish that burst with minerality. Pair this expressive white wine with your first course, perhaps a light soup or green salad with pears, walnuts, and gorgonzola.
Locations F5 Rosé – French Rosé Wine
($20) – Delicate but showing a personality anything but, this rich and expressive rose from the south of France is 100% Grenache from the Locations brand of wines
. Influenced by terroir of granite and schist, a maritime climate, and 50 year-old dry farmed vines, I found refreshing aromas of stone fruit, white flowers, strawberries, raspberries, and snappy minerality. Flavorful notes of candied cherries, melon, stone fruit, and salinity were in harmony with subtle tannins and bright acidity; I was mesmerized. Consider Locations F5 Rosé a delectable pairing with any culinary creation served on Valentine’s Day/Night. From grilled meats, creamy pasta, and French cheeses to crisp salads, roasted vegetables, and your signature fruit laden dessert, the rosé is just as gorgeous as the one with whom it will be shared.
Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2014
($20) – This memorable Pinot Noir from Louis Jadot proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy a red Burgundy. In this case, luscious fruit is from the Cote d’Or and Cote Chalonnaise. Light ruby color in the glass, intense aromas of warm vanilla, succulent plums, strawberries, raspberries, and pepper flirted with my nose. My palate was equally delighted with concentrated elements of bright acidity, medium tannins, notes of earth, more vanilla, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries in this nicely balanced wine, boasting a smooth, satin-like finish. The Louis Jadot Pinot Noir will be a beautiful accompaniment to your traditional roast chicken dish, grilled fish with a unique herb sauce on the side, or stuffed pork tenderloin.
Joyeuse Saint Valentin! ~ Cindy