Valentine’s Wines for Every Occasion

Valentine's Wines for Every Occasion
Photo by Carmen Eyre

In the game of love, it’s not enough to rely on Cupid’s Arrow, Tinder or your friendly neighborhood yenta. Some times, you gotta mark the moment with some liquid courage to admit your crush, or better yet, proclaim your love. Hand-picked by our editors, these bottles not only ease racing hearts on Valentine’s Day but also celebrate l’amour by bringing you back to your senses.

  1. Photo by Carmen Eyre

    The Scenario: First Date

    The Bottle: Argyle 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley); 91 points, $40

    Oh, the pressure. You want to impress, but not overwhelm. So, seek a wine that’s (ahem) approachable, but not too eager. Plus, there’s the mystery—will your date order fish or meat? This Pinot Noir covers all the bases, offering strawberry fruit that sails above a light layer of milk chocolate. Give this wine breathing time for extra depth and flavor.

  2. Photo by Carmen Eyre

    The Scenario: Could They Be “The One”?

    The Bottle: Rust en Vrede 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch);  91 points, $29

    Your first date lasted through the weekend, and keeps on going. Even though you feel like you’ve known each other for years, you keep discovering new allure. Consider a wine that conveys mystery and intrigue, inspiring sensations to explore together. From South Africa, this Cab offers a plush texture like crushed velvet, and licorice and earthy tobacco grace the lengthy finish. A good omen that a lot more lies ahead for the two of you.

  3. Photo by Carmen Eyre

    The Scenario: Popping the Question

    The Bottle: Moët & Chandon 2004 Dom Pérignon Brut Rosé (Champagne); 95 points, $320

    This is the go-to moment and one you’ll remember forever—so go upscale with vintage Champagne, which eases well into that “something old, something new” tradition. From its orange-pink color to the mature toast and almond flavors, this wine conveys assured complexity. It’s ready to drink, just when you’re ready to take the plunge.

  4. Photo by Carmen Eyre

    The Scenario: Rekindling the Spark

    The Bottle: Bodegas Riojanas 1998 Viña Albina Gran Reserva (Rioja); 93 points, $140

    Together for years, you’re each other’s best friend and more. Now older and wiser, your wine should follow suit, unfolding with layers of complexity. This elegant, traditional Rioja captures attention with brandied cherry, light mineral notes and a touch of rose petal draped across the nose. Subdued and mature in flavor, it’s a class act with earthy notes of cherry, plum and cocoa. The finish lingers, like memories of your great years together.

  5. Photo by Carmen Eyre

    The Scenario: A Gathering of Friends

    The Bottle: 3 Rings 2013 Shiraz (Barossa Valley);  91 points, $20

    Buddies, chums, your posse…. You coach each other about online dating profiles, and commiserate when relationships falter into “It’s complicated.” So be glad to spend February 14 with real friends who know you and love you for who you are. Pour a wine that encourages heartfelt conversations and laughter. Lush and creamy in texture, this Shiraz delivers elements of graham cracker, espresso, dark chocolate and baking spices, all bolstered by ample weight and berry fruit.

Published on February 4, 2016
Topics: Valentine's Day