I posted this article for all the star-crossed lovers 2 years ago. I thought I’d check out the wines, and I’d stand by them all, but in addition, new wines have come to the BC market, so I thought I’d add those ones in too, so enjoy this Valentine’s Day with an even greater range of wine. And don’t forget about all the wonderful hand-made chocolates here in Vancouver now, such as Thomas Haas, Beta5, Mink, and ChocolaTas in Vancouver, and Chez Christophe in Burnaby.
Valentine’s Day, a day of celebration, a day of looking back, and a day of looking forward with your spouse, significant other, or someone you hope will be with you, enjoying more bottles of wine, for many years. I’ve compiled a short list of wines that I hope will help you on this lover’s journey, from sparkling, white, rose, red, and fortified wines. Enjoy!
- Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne Cuvee Millesimee, 2010, France – A sparkling wine with light bready and citrus aromas. Dry, with small, fine bubbles. Citrus and minerality on the palate. Mouth watering finish. Very good.
- Champagne Lallier Rose, NV, France. If your mother, wife or significant other enjoys bubbles, here is one to please. Very pale pinkish orange colour. Light strawberry nose. Bigger bubble, with strawberry and red cherry flavour. You can never go wrong with Champagne.
Perrier Jouet Grand Brut N/V Champagne, France. This is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pale lemon in colour. Light lees and toast on the nose. Light body with apples and white fruit. Small bubbles with lower acidity. I really enjoyed this one in part due to the lower acidity which made this Champagne very easy to drink on its own.
- Bastianich Flor Prosecco, Italy ($19.99). A delightful sparkling wine with melon and lychee aromas. Off dry, light body, with cinnamon, citrus and peach flavours. Small bubble. This is such a fun wine.
- Cantina Breganze Prosecco Extra Dry, Italy ($21.99). Pale lemon in colour with a tinge of green. Lemon and juicy orchard fruit on the nose. Orange, lemon, and rose petal flavours. Recommended
- Codorniu Pinot Noir Sparkling Brut, Spain ($19.99) Light orangy pink in colour. Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.
- Hungaria Grand Cuvee, Hungary ($13.90). Quite a deal for this sparkler. Light lemon in colour, with lemon/lime aromas. Light bubble with lemon flavour.
- Champagne Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs N/V, France – The grapes for this Champagne only come from Grand Cru vineyards. It is a blend of 3 vintages; 2008 primarily along with 2007 and 2006. Only 50,000 bottles were produced. It has a very light citrus nose. On the palate it is quite biscuity, along with lots of mouth filling bubbles. Sour/crisp apple leads to a sweeter apple flavour. Dry on the palate with only 6g/l of dosage. An excellent Champagne!
- Nicolas Feuillatte Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs, 2004, France – Light stone fruit aromas in the glass. Medium minus body, dry but very fruity. Red fruits and apples on the palate along with a mineral streak. Wonderful Champagne.
Alasia Sec dry Muscato NV, Italy ($18.99). Here is a wine you may want to consider for Valentine’s Day. The muscat grape is one of the aromatic grape varieties around. This one had a very flowery nose, with some spice and orange notes. Round mouth feel, medium body with orange peel flavour and a bitter almond finish.
- Vouvrey Grandes Caves Saint Roch – Demi Sec 2010, France. This is a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Delicate light crab apple and citrus aromas. Medium minus body mouthfeel yet acts like it is a bigger wine. Apples and citrus flavours. Quite round with a good acidic backbone.
- Davis Bynum River West Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2011 ($29.99). Light toast and citrus on the nose. Medium body, with round ripe tropical fruits. Soft mouth feel. Cinnamon, vanilla, and pears on the mid palate. Very tasty.
- Arrowleaf Cellars Gewurztraminer, 2011, BC($15.99). This was my favourite white wine during a BC VQA tasting, and at such an amazing price. It had a nice light flowery, sweet spice, honey and citrus nose. Dry with medium minus body, citrus, honey and light herbal flavour. So tasty and elegant.
- Trivento Tribu Viognier 2011, Argentina ($9.99. SPEC). This was a very surprising wine for sub $10. Light orange, peach and citrus nose. Medium minus body with flowers, orange, and spice on the tongue. Dry citrus finish. A nice wine.
Rose & Red Wine
- Siduri Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2012, California Smoky raspberries and strawberries on the nose. Dry with high acidity and a mineral streak on the palate. Ripe red cherries and sour cherries, with a hint of vanilla. Long length with sweet spices.
Bartier – Scholefield Rose, BC ($20) is 100% Gamay Noir from the Wise Brothers’ vineyard in Oliver. This wine was medium salmon colour in the glass. Light, youthful aromas of strawberries, red cherries and other red fruits. It is dry on the palate with medium plus acidity. Medium body. I get fresh summer fruits like raspberries, red currants, strawberries and red cherries, and a lingering watering mouthfeel on the finish.
- Blasted Church Rose 2010, BC ($17.99). This rose is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Usually I expect a single varietal, like Pinot Noir or Merlot, so I was very interested to taste this rose. Very pale cherry colour. Nice strawberry aromas. Raspberry leaf, strawberry, and capsicum flavours. High acidity and spicy on your palate. Light body and long length. This wine packs a punch with 14.9% alcohol, so beware as you sip this one.
- Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Pinot Noir Rosé 2010, BC. Light pinkish salmon colour. Raspberries and strawberry fruit on the nose with a bit of raspberry leaf as well. Off dry with light body and medium acidity. Quite nice strawberry flavour with some almonds on the finish. The grapes for this wine come from one of the organic Kalala vineyards in West Kelowna.
- Cameron Hughes Lot 300 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Napa Valley. Medium translucent ruby colour. Nice ripe berry nose. Elegant and not overpowering. Lighter body with cassis and dark fruit flavours. High acidity, low tannins and long length. A quality wine.
- Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvee Pinot Noir 2008, Oregon ($49.99). A wine 5 years old already, and I think has many more years of enjoyment. It is light to medium garnet in the glass. Light vanilla and red cherry aromas. Medium body, with raspberries and vanilla, leading to dark cherry flavours. Dry. Very nice. Another favourite wine for me.
- Foppiano Vineyards Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2010. Light cherries then tea leaves are revealed to your nose. Light body, dry, low tannins and medium acidity. Red cherries with cinnamon mid palate.
- Buller Old Fine Muscat, Rutherglen, Australia (dessert wine). Medium dark amber-coloured Muscat has aromas of toffee and marmalade. This Muscat has enough body and flavour to balance with the richness of chocolate (and chocolate cake
- Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal ($63.99). A tawny port is aged in wooden barrels, which exposes the wine to oxygen causing oxidation. As a result, these wines gradually turn to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen also imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine. This wine had caramel and roses aromas in the glass. Amazing flavour with sweet spices, nuttiness and butterscotch. Sweet but dry with a long length.
- Domaine Le Mont 2004, Bonnezeaux, Loire Valley, France ($36.90). This is a late harvest Chenin Blanc. Pear skin colour. Apricot and honey nose. Unctuous, round with apricot and spice flavours. Off dry, not too sweet to be easily enjoyed by everyone. Tasty.
- Croft Pink Port, Portugal. Although I don’t have tasting notes for this wine, I have tasted it in the past. Serve it chilled and enjoy the fruitiness of this lighter bodied port.