This Valentine's Day—or any other time, for that matter—you might opt to heat things up a skosh with a well-chosen sip of wine or bubbly. Or, perhaps a snort or shot of a slightly more potent libation. Cupid can always use a little help, right?
Well, I'm here to help as well. I don't have any heart-bound arrows in my quiver, but I do have a few liquid refreshments to recommend for spicing up your Valentine's Day.
A fetching wine with an equally beguiling backstory is Loveblock Pinot Noir ($37), made in the Awatere Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand. In the mid-1800s, the New Zealand farmer who owned the land where Loveblock Pinot Noir grapes are now farmed found the dead body of a young man on the property.The farmer buried the unknown stranger, and because of the lack of name, identity and kin, he simply engraved on the cross at his gravesite "Someone's Darling." If you're serving something sexy like raw oysters or steamed crab legs to your darling on V-Day, opt for the lighter Loveblock white wine: Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc ($17.99).
If you or your special someone loves tequila but are looking to add a little spice to your V-Day imbibing, try Peligroso Cinammon ($22.99). It's the world's first 84-proof cinnamon-flavored tequila, made with blue agave and pure cinnamon for a unique kick and sweet heat on the palate. Be forewarned though: Peligroso in Spanish means "danger!"
Bubbly is always a slam-dunk on Cupid's favorite night, and from Italy comesBerlucchi Franciacorta '61 Brut($37). When we think of Italian sparkling wine, we usually think of Prosecco. This wine, however, falls into the luxury Italian sparkling-wine category—made in themetodo classicomanner, or using the classic methods and techniques of fine Champagne making. It's a perfect choice for Valentine's Day, as is its vibrant pink sister, Berlucchi Franciacorta Cuvee '61 Brut Rosé ($37). Or, for a more traditional French Champagne choice on Valentine's Day, treat your honey to a bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial Rosé ($49.99), packaged in a unique "Unfurl the Tie" box that dresses the bottle in an isothermic tie-graphic tin designed to keep a chilled bottle cool for up to two hours—the perfect way to hide your bubbly until you're ready to confess your love (or lust).
Track down a bottle of SAVED Red ($25) for Valentine's Day, if you can. It's the creation of California winemaker Clay Brock and "hopeless romantic" Scott Campbell. During his first foray into wine, Campbell was planning his wedding to his now-wife, actress Lake Bell, and coded his love for her in secret messages on the bottle's intricate label with symbols of good luck and love. The wine itself is a bold red blend with dominant ripe Zinfandel berry flavors.
"How deep is your love?" the Bee Geesonce asked. To illustrate the depth and intensity of your love and passion, pour a glass of Santa Rita Estate Bottled Triple C ($37.44) for your Valentine. "Triple C" stands for the grapes Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère, from which the wine is blended. It's a vibrant ruby-red color (befitting V-Day), with a complex bouquet (who needs flowers?) and flavors of blueberries, black currants, chocolate (why buy chocolate?) spice and tobacco.
Please keep in mind that if you can't find certain hard-to-find wines for Valentine's Day or any other occasion, your friendly wine-store employee will be happy to special order them for you at any state liquor store or wine store. Happy Valentine's Day!