When it comes to wine - Valentine's Day offers the perfect opportunity to explore and indulge. If you are celebrating with a night in or opening another bottle when you get home - our sommelier has handpicked 3 bottles that are perfect for cupid's day. Partner encouraged - but not necessary.
2021 J.L. Chave Selection Cotes-du-Rhone “Mon Coeur”, France
When it comes to the Northern Rhone, there’s no one quite like Jean Louis Chave. His reds and whites from Hermitage and Saint Joseph are the stuff of legend, and Domaine Jean Louis Chave wines are on the bucket lists of many wine fans. The JL Chave Selection label is Jean Louis’ way of sharing his wines at a far more approachable price point. The main different between the two labels would be that all the land for the Domaine Jean Louis Chave wines is owned by the Chave family and has been under their care and control for over 15 generations. The JL Chave Selection wines are made from fruit on land that is leased by the Chave family, though they tend the vines and harvest the grapes. This Cotes-du-Rhone is called “Mon Coeur” or “my heart,” as it is a wine that Jean Louis Chave himself has said remains close to his heart. It says Cotes-du-Rhone on the label, but this wine drinks far more like a Gigondas or Vacqueyras. This wine is 50% Grenache, 50% Syrah, made in a beautiful, earthy, fruity, and herbal style that makes for a phenomenal accompaniment to any Mediterranean food.
NV Innocent Bystander Sparkling Moscato, Australia
This is full-flavored, fruity, fun rose that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Meant to be enjoyed with light desserts, cheese, or fruit, this is the perfect pairing for the dessert board at the end of the meal. A lot of Moscato isn’t taken very seriously, and people often expect something like Barefoot when you tell them this is a Moscato, but after your first sip you realize this isn’t just an extra-sweet, slightly-alcoholic grape juice, this has acidity, volume, and full fruit flavors of apple, pear, clementine, strawberry, and peach; not something you get in Welch’s grape juice. If your Valentine’s Day plans include not taking yourself too seriously, this wine, some strawberries, brie, and some crackers are a great way to end the day.
2016 Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District, California
From a vintage where Napa Valley didn’t see a single day over 100 degrees for the whole growing season, the wines from 2016 and from Terra Valentine are special to me because they represent the coming era of lower alcohol, more expressive wines as winemakers in Napa Valley collectively pull their feet off the gas pedal of alcohol and extraction so favored by Robert Parker. The Terra Valentine Spring Mountain Cabernet isn’t on anyone’s 100 point list, but that’s ok. This is a well-made wine made of mountain fruit that was given just enough time in barrels to help it age well, and while other, bigger name wines from 2016 may seem too young, this bottle is drinking beautifully right now just the way it is supposed to. Black currant, plum, and black cherry are dominant, with an oak quality very similar to Silver Oak, this is a great bottle to have over your 2020s.