Valentine's Wine Guide by Kit Rose

Valentine's Wine Guide

by Kit Rose

Many of you will be heading out to one of our fine Salem restaurants for a romantic dinner this weekend, and what better way to indulge, splurge, and impress than a bottle of wine to share with your sweetie? Selecting the perfect pairing with dinner can be a challenge if it's not common practice for you. 

There are some staple rules to follow, or sticking to a varietal or vineyard you are familiar with, however you may be missing out on other great choices when you skip over uncharted territory. A budget could also play an important factor in your selection, a consideration not to be ignored. 

This weekend, leave behind the "red with beef, white with poultry" principle and think more about the preparation and origin of your meals. It is very common in Old World territories for wines to be stylized to compliment their cuisine; red, white, rosé, or sparkling. Sake is a wonderful pairing to Sushi, just as Cava matches up to Tapas, as examples. Below is a list of further options to break you from your comfort zone and try something new with your Valentine. 

Happy Sipping xoxo 

Seafood~ Skip the Sauvignon Blanc, and try a light bodied red such as Pinot Noir or Barbera; a refreshing Prosecco also works great with shellfish

Pasta~ Skip the Chianti (although a win with a light tomato based sauce) and go for a Shiraz for something richer; a white Soave pairs with creamy or cheesy sauces

Steak~ Skip the Cab and try a rich blended red Bordeaux, or a tannic Malbec. An oaky Chardonnay will also hold up, especially if the meat is plated with root vegetables. A Tempranillo based Rioja is also a wine to consider here 

Pork~ Skip the Merlot, and try Rosé or steel fermented Chardonnay, which both compliment pork in all of its forms- roasted, barbequed, or spicy

Chicken & Turkey~ Skip the white, and try a medium bodied Merlot to compliment poultry in its dark leg meat presentation.  Go for something bolder such as a Super Tuscan with Duck

Vegetarian~ dry and easy flavors from a Pinot Grigio is a safe bet, but try a Spanish Cava or Grenache with a spicy or heavy dish

Dessert~ coffee drinks are a no-brainer, but why not try a late harvest wine or rich and nutty sherry with something sweet and chocolaty 

Tell us in the comments~ where are you indulging this weekend and which new wine will you try?