• By: Kate More

Valentine’s Day wines for the lady in your life

Valentines Day is coming up and you know what that means: it’s time to go to the LCBO and buy some love juice, a.k.a. a nice bottle of wine for the lady in your life.

If you’re planning to only spend $15 on wine for Valentine’s Day, don’t expect much in the bedroom tonight.  All joking aside, a tight budget will require some creativity, so be prepared with candles, a Sade album, and a great value bottle of wine to help set the mood. Passo del Sud Passimento, $11.95, a smooth blend of Primitivo and Negroamaro, would be a good place to start. The Passo del Sud Passimento was produced in the appassimento style which means the wine is produced from partially raisined grapes. Think of this wine like a baby Amarone – it’s rich and a little sweet, everything that she’s going to be looking for on Bumble if you mess this holiday up. This red blend would pair well with a simple Italian dish like spaghetti Bolognese.

For around $25, you can pick up a really nice bottle of rosé Crémant. Crémant is like Champagne’s equally delicious and super talented little bro, like Casey Affleck — Ben might have the better physical genes and clout, but Casey also won an Oscar. Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Crémant de Bourgogne, $22.95 in Vintages is a beautiful example of Crémant. Produced just outside of Champagne, in Burgundy, France, this is a traditional method sparkling wine and blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chardonnay. In the glass it is fresh with vibrant red berry fruit alongside notes of fresh-baked bread and flowers. Pair this with a charcuterie board or a festive brunch of smoked salmon quiche and crème fraiche.

If your gal loves chocolate, a delicious pairing would be Dow's Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port 2006, $29.95 in Vintages. This Port comes from the A-rated Bomfim vineyard in Portugal and is a blend of native grapes including Touriga Franca. Pour this next to a box of heart-shaped treats and enjoy notes of baked blueberries, violets, mint, mocha and spice in your glass. Port and chocolate go together like 5 pm and wine, they just belong together.

Last, for the Valentine who has been locked-down at home with the kids, doing virtual learning, your best bet might be a splurge. Terra Rossa Brunello di Montalcino 2015, $57.95 in Vintages, rises to the occasion with an orchestra of flavour, prune, nectarine, black cherry layered with graceful notes of warm spice and soil. Before dinner, decant the wine and serve an hour later with roast lamb or wild mushroom risotto. Make sure to save a glass each for after dinner, this is the type of wine to contemplate your blessings, and toast to the future. 2015 was a very good year in Brunello, but anything is better than 2021.